‘No time frame for restarting talks’ – Helgesen
[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 September 2003, 08:46 GMT]
“We will not give any time frame for the possibility of restarting the talks. But as of mid October we expect to start planning resumption of talks”, said Mr. Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Deputy Foreign Minister after discussions with the head of the Liberation Tigers’ political division, Mr. S.P Thamilchelvan, Thursday in Kilinochchi on the LTTE’s counter proposals for an Interim Administration for the northeast and the status of Sri Lanka’s eighteen month long ceasefire agreement.
Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, responding to questions from the press following the meeting at the LTTE’s Peace Secretariat, said that the LTTE would submit its counter proposal on the IA by mid October.
“We discussed matters relating to bringing about normalcy and the proper implementation of the Cease Fire Agreement”, he said.
|Helgesen speaking to the press. Thamilchelvan (right)|
Speaking to the press about the discussions at the Kilinochchi Peace Secretariat, the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister said, “We had a very constructive meeting covering a lot of ground. We’ve been discussing the status of the peace process in terms of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) and the need to uphold respect for the CFA”.
“We have also discussed in great detail the process from here in terms of the LTTE now being in the final stages of working on their proposals for an Interim Administration. The LTTE has indicated today that their proposals would be ready by mid October. It’ll then be handed over to Norway. As the facilitator, we will convey this to the government of Sri Lanka and we expect that the proposal previously prepared by the (Sri Lankan) govt. and the proposal that will be forthcoming from the LTTE will together provide a basis for resuming the negotiations – hopefully not too late after mid October. We will meet sometime for planning, for doing technical preparations for resuming talks. So we will not give any time frame for the possibility of restarting the talks. But as of mid October we expect to start planning resumption of talks”, Mr. Helgesen said.
The Norwegian Deputy FM was accompanied by Norway’s ambassador in Colombo, Mr. Hans Brattskar and Norway’s special envoy, Mr. Eric Solheim and embassy official, Mr. Thomas Strangland.
Mr. Thamilchelvan was assisted by Mr. George and Mr. Tholkappiyan.
Mr. Helgesen, Mr. Solheim and Mr. Brattskar with Mr. George
|Thamilselvan welcoming Helgesen (Photo: LTTE Peace secretariat. Click for a larger picture)