Solheim meets President Chandrika

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 December 2004, 16:19 GMT]
Mr.Erik Solheim, Norwegian special peace envoy Thursday urged the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to exercise the maximum restraint and refrain from actions that could be interpreted as provocations, especially at a time when peace negotiations were not taking place, states a press release issued by the Presidential Secretariat following the talks between the facilitator and President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge.

President Chandrika Kumaratunge received the Special Envoy of the Royal Norwegian Government Erik Solheim at President's House today.

Mr. Eric Solheim accompanied by Charge d'Affaires of the Norwegian Embassy Mr.Oddvar Laegreid, Director-General of Global Affairs Mr.Svein Saether and other Norwegian officials met with the President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge Thursday around noon.

Erik Solheim briefed the President on his discussions with Mr.Anton Balasingham in London earlier this month and on his meeting with LTTE political wing leader Mr.S. P. Thamilchelvan in Killinochchi on Wednesday. He assured the President that the LTTE remained committed to maintaining the Ceasefire Agreement. However, he urged that both parties should exercise the maximum restraint and refrain from actions that could be interpreted as provocations, especially at a time when peace negotiations were not taking place, according to the release.

During the course of the meeting, the President was informed of the closure of the Embassy of Norway because of an anthrax scare. She gave immediate orders for the Police to investigate the incident and provide the Embassy personnel the fullest protection, according the media release by the Presidential Secretariat.

Associated with the President were, Foreign Minister Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar, Mr.Jayantha Dhanapala, Secretary General of the Government Peace Secretariat, and Mr. H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, Foreign Secretary.

It was agreed that Norway would remain in close contact with the GOSL on how negotiations could resume, said the media release.


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