Following confirmation that police investigating the disappearance of Mikaeel Kular have discovered the body of a child, First Minister Alex Salmond said:
"This is a tragic development in this harrowing story and the news that we have all been dreading. The hearts of everyone across Scotland and beyond have been touched by the events of recent days.
"We should at this difficult time remember the work of the officers of Police Scotland who have responded to this difficult task and investigation and shown such professionalism and dedication.
"Above all the efforts and solidarity of the local community in Edinburgh should be applauded. In the most tragic of circumstances they volunteered to make their very best efforts to help this young child."
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:
"I would like to echo the First Minister's words and praise the excellent work done by Police Scotland who have worked tirelessly to find Mikaeel during this difficult and harrowing time.
"And I would also like to commend the residents of Edinburgh for the outstanding way in which they have supported the work of Police Scotland over recent days. I know that the police have greatly valued the assistance that has been provided by many members of the public who have helped with the search.
"The police investigation into this tragic matter continues over the next few days and anyone with information which might be relevant to the investigation should contact Police Scotland."