UK news Edwin Poots: I’ll meet loyalist terror groups in bid to end violence last news
MetiNews.Com - New DUP leader Edwin Poots wants to meet loyalist terrorist groups to persuade them to give up violence and criminality.
Breaking News ! "New DUP leader Edwin Poots wants to meet loyalist terrorist groups to persuade them to give up violence and criminality. The Lagan Valley MLA, who beat Sir Jeffrey Donaldson on Friday to succeed Arlene Foster, hopes such talks could help persuade those sections of the UDA and UVF still involved in paramilitarism to transform.He told this newspaper he would not rule out meeting with representatives of the South East Antrim UDA, which has been heavily involved in organised crime and is the focus of several police investigations.Speaking at his family farm outside Lisburn, the veteran politician said: “You can’t bring people with you if you don’t engage with people.“I have no issue with talking to loyalists. Those who would be critical of that, I would ask them to reflect on the fact that John Hume engaged with Sinn Fein whenever the IRA was engaged in very unsavoury activity.“I want to move all of Northern Ireland forward and I want to give people reasons to actually do positive and progressive things.“Talking to people from loyalist backgrounds who continue to carry on with things they shouldn’t be doing is not something I am averse to.”“We will make those calls,” Mr Poots (55) added.
."And I certainly think that the criminality is entirely unacceptable and isn’t a reflection of loyalism.“There’s lots of loyalists out there who aren’t involved in criminality and I respect that, and those organisations have almost become like an old boys’ club."They are not recruiting, they are not engaged in extortion, punishment beatings, racketeering and other criminality.—“I want to wean people away from that if is at all possible."And if that then involves talking to people who have not moved on as yet, then I am willing to do that.”In March the then DUP leadership was criticised for holding talks with the organisation which represents loyalist paramilitary groups, including the UDA, UVF and Red Hand Commando.The party said Arlene Foster, Nigel Dodds and East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson’s meeting in Belfast with the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) discussed opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol."
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Source = MetiNews.Com