Sri Lanka's PM meets with Norwegian PM in Athens
[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 August 2004, 13:31 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse met with Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik Saturday in Athens. Prime Minister Bondevik believed that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are committed to the process, a press release from the Royal Norwegian Embassy said Saturday.
Fulltext of the press release follows:
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ROYAL NORWEGIAN EMBASSY
14 August 2004
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse met with Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik in Athens 14 August 2004
They had a constructive discussion covering issues such as the political and economic situation in Sri Lanka, the long-standing development co-operation between the two countries and the status of the peace process. Mr. Rajapakse and Mr. Bondevik both expressed hope that the direct talks would soon be resumed after a 16 months long stalemate.
Prime Minister Rajapakse said that the Government of Sri Lanka appreciates the contribution made by the Government of Norway in facilitating the establishment of a cease fire agreement in the country and in laying the foundation for a credible peace process and helping to move it forward. “The President and I and our Government is totally committed to seeking a negotiated settlement to the ethnic crisis and are fully appreciative of Norway’s efforts and initiatives in this regard”, Prime Minister Rajapakse stated.
Prime Minister Rajapakse underlined the importance of the parties going back to the negotiation table and said that everybody in Sri Lanka and the international community should do their utmost to contribute to a conducive atmosphere for the peace process.
Further, Prime Minister Rajapakse said that his Government is fully committed to the development of Information Communications Technology in Sri Lanka for the benefit of the people. “ICT offers unique opportunities for uniting our divided society. Any assistance that the Government of Norway would render in this area will be appreciated”, he said.
Prime Minister Bondevik said that he believed the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE are committed to the process and that President Chandrika Kumaratunga is determined in her efforts to proceed towards talks.