Page last updated at 08:17 GMT, Sunday, 5 April 2009 09:17 UK

Praise for paramilitary leaders

Peter Robinson
Mr Robinson has been holding talks with loyalist leaders

Peter Robinson has praised loyalist paramilitary leaders for not allowing their organisations to become engaged in tit-for-tat violence.

This was response to recent dissident republican violence which saw two soldiers and a policeman murdered in Antrim and Craigavon.

The first minister has been holding talks with loyalist leaders.

He said they had acted wisely, however, he also urged them to make progress on decommissioning their weapons.

"I think people should be encouraged by the very mature reaction of whose who are in the leadership of the loyalist paramilitary organisations in not falling into this trap, and in giving that leadership to those over whom they have influence," said Mr Robinson.

"All I can do is encourage people who are involved in paramilitary organisations that now is the time to close down those operations, now is the time for weapons to be decommissioned."

Mr Robinson was speaking to Radio Ulster's Inside Politics programme, which is now broadcast at the new time of 1305 BST on Sunday.

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