US welcomes agreement to hold peace talks in Geneva

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 January 2006, 09:10 GMT]
United States Department of State issued a statement on Tuesday welcoming the the agreement by the Sri Lankan government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to hold peace talks in February in Geneva and commending the Norwegian Special Envoy Erik Solheim for his effort in advancing the process. "The United States remains fully committed to the Sri Lankan peace process," said Sean McCormack, spokesman for the Department of State in the statement issued in Washington DC.

Following is the full text of the statement:

Agreement to Hold Peace Talks in February in Geneva

United States Department of State Spokesman Sean McCormack issued the following statement in Washington, DC on January 25, 2006:

"The United States welcomes the agreement by the Sri Lankan government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to hold peace talks in February in Geneva. We commend Special Envoy Erik Solheim for his effort to advance this positive development and fully support Norway's facilitation of the peace process.

As Under Secretary for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns said during his January 23 trip to Sri Lanka, this long conflict will end only when the LTTE and the government resume discussions, and the LTTE are convinced to stop using violence and acts of terror as political weapons.

The United States and the other Co-chairs of the Tokyo Donors' Conference - the European Union, Japan and Norway - have called repeatedly for a return to the negotiating table to work towards a stable permanent peace. The United States remains fully committed to the Sri Lankan peace process.

The United States commends the Sri Lankan government for its restraint in the face of recent provocative attacks and fully supports its efforts as it advances towards peace. We support the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. We call on both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to take immediate action to prevent violence and to uphold the terms of the Ceasefire Agreement.

We believe that the people of Sri Lanka desperately want to see an end to years of conflict. The United States will continue to support them as they take steps to bring peace and stability to their country."


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