US urges Sri Lanka peace

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 July 2002, 21:14 GMT]
United States' President George Bush offered Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe American support in efforts to resolve the island's ethnic conflict, a White House spokesman said Wednesday. The two leaders' meeting lasted approximately 15 minutes, the spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

President Bush meets with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe, Wednesday, July 24, 2002, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Photo: AP)
"President [Bush] expressed his strong support for Sri Lanka, for their democracy, and the closer ties that are being forged between the United States and Sri Lanka," Mr. Fleischer said in response to journalists' questions.

"The President offered American support for Sri Lanka's pursuit of peace in [the Norwegian initiative], and economic development and proposed to send several teams to assess how best we can work together in those areas," he said.

"The President and the Prime Minister welcomed the intent of the Peace Corps to return to Sri Lanka as soon as conditions permit," the US spokesman added.

Wickremesinghe's meeting with Bush was the first time a Sri Lankan leader has been in the White House since President J.R.Jayewardena met Ronald Reagan in 1984.


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