Stormont has observed a minute of silence following the horrific events in Paris. 

Politicians from all sides stood together in parliament buildings to pay tribute to the victims.

The Great Hall was packed full of MLAs and staff members, but not a sound was heard.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers stood between First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

In Belfast and Derry, books of condolence were opened ahead of the silence.

Ms Villiers travelled from Stormont to add her signature to the book at Belfast City Hall.

"I felt it was really important for me to be here to show my solidarity for all of the people of France at this very, very difficult time after these shocking and indeed terrifying attacks," she said.

"It is true that the people of Northern Ireland will be feeling very strongly for the French people at the moment, having suffered here for many years during the Troubles. There will be an understanding of the huge damage which is done by attacks of this nature."

At Parliament Buildings, Mr Robinson said: "As elected representatives and people who are in government it is right we stand with the people of Paris at this dreadful time.

Mr McGuinness said he hoped the peace process in Northern Ireland showed what could be achieved, but warned that negotiation would be unlikely to work with the so-called Islamic State, or Isis. "I think the Isis situation is markedly different from what we are seeing elsewhere in other conflicts," he said.

Indications of possible agreement as Stormont talks resume

Political negotiations resumed today at Stormont, with indications that delegations from the five main political parties and the British and Irish governments will seek to conclude an agreement by tomorrow. 

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: "I am hopeful we will agree a deal sooner rather than later but I'm not sure if all the matters under discussion can be settled."

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan is in Brussels for a meeting of EU Ministers.  He is expected to arrive at the Stormont talks by late afternoon where he will join the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, in a co-chairing role.

Talks began at Stormont ten weeks ago and targeted deadlines were missed last week.  
 
A number of factors will increase the possibility of finishing the negotiations early this week.

The DUP holds its annual conference next weekend, where party leader Peter Robinson may announce he will not be contesting next May's Assembly elections.

The DUP will be keen to have an agreement in place before that party conference. 
 
There is also a 'negotiations fatigue factor' affecting voters as well as the participants in the talks.  

Weekend events in Paris may increase the will to reach agreement on some if not all of the contentious issues and package the best available deal by tomorrow.  

The British government is expected to deliver an update on the negotiations later.

An impasse over how much information the UK government will disclose on its role during the Troubles is holding up a deal to save power-sharing.

The stand-off between Sinn Féin and the British government effectively dashed hopes of an agreement being struck last week.

Northern Ireland Office minister Ben Wallace will address a meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly at Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan and her PSNI counterpart George Hamilton are also expected to brief members of parliament on security issues.

The BIPA meeting will also assess the implications for Ireland of a possible UK exit from the EU. David Lidington, Europe minister at the British Foreign Office, will address the Assembly.

Laurence Robertson, British co-chairman of the Assembly, said: "We will be discussing a number of very important issues at the Assembly meeting, such as the current political and security situations in Northern Ireland, as well as the ongoing relationship between the UK and Ireland and the future of the relationship between the UK and the EU."

Irish co-chairman Frank Feighan hoped the Stormont talks would conclude positively.

"We wish all parties involved the very best in their ongoing engagement.

"I commend them all on their demonstrable commitment to reach an agreement and secure the future of Northern Ireland," he added.