Northern Ireland

Cardiff talks to improve police relations with loyalists and republicans

Rows of police Land rovers

Talks aimed at improving relations between Northern Ireland's loyalist and republican communities and the police got under way in Cardiff on Friday.

Senior police officers are meeting with politicians and community representatives for two days of talks.

Police insist the talks are not about trying to resolve parades disputes.

They said the aim is to reduce tensions in areas where there have been complaints about how the police have responded to such events.

Those attending include representatives from all the main political parties.

Loyalist community representatives taking part include Ulster Defence Association (UDA) leader Jackie McDonald and Winston Irvine of the Progressive Unionist Party, the political representatives of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Senior Irish republican Sean 'Spike' Murray is also taking part.

Other delegates include the former moderator of the Presbyterian church in Ireland, the Rev Norman Hamilton.

The discussions will be led by facilitators from the University of Ulster and Stanford University in California.

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