Norway offers to continue Sri Lanka Peace role

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 November 2005, 15:08 GMT]
Congratulating the newly elected Sri Lankan President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, the Norwegian Minister of International Development, Mr. Erik Solheim, Friday said that the Norwegian goverment was looking forward to continuing its close cooperation with the new president and the Government of Sri Lanka in a wide range of areas, including support for the peace process. "Norway remains willing to facilitate the peace process in Sri Lanka for as long as the two parties request such assistance, and for as long as it is possible for Norway to play a constructive role," Solheim was quoted in a press release issued by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Friday.

Full text of the Press Release from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs follows:

No.: 204/2005
Date: 18.11.2005

Norwegian Minister of International Development Congratulates Sri Lankan President-Elect Mahinda Rajapakse

Norwegian Minister of International Development Erik Solheim warmly congratulates Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse on his election as President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Solheim said that “the Norwegian government looks forward to continuing our close cooperation with the new president and the Government of Sri Lanka in a wide range of areas, including support for efforts to achieve a lasting peace that inspires confidence in all Sri Lankans.”

Noting that Mr. Rajapakse had received a mandate from voters to work towards a negotiated political settlement of the conflict, Solheim extended assurances of strong international support as the new president grasps the key challenges of preserving the ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and taking forward the peace process.

“The Government of Norway is deeply committed to promoting peace and reconciliation internationally,” Solheim said. “Norway remains willing to facilitate the peace process in Sri Lanka for as long as the two parties request such assistance, and for as long as it is possible for Norway to play a constructive role.”

Solheim has responsibility for support for the peace process within the Norwegian government.

 

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