Ground rules for peace engangement to be clarified during Solheim visit

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 December 2005, 16:34 GMT]
Norwegian Development Minister Erik Solheim is expected to visit Sri Lanka to meet officials of Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam soon. An NTB report filed from Hong Kong on Thursday said that the "ground rules" for the process forward would be decided during this visit.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministers of Sri Lanka and Norway, Mangala Samaraweera and Jonas Store, had discussions on matters related to Sri Lanka peace process Thursday in Hong Kong.

Full text of the joint press release, issued in Hong Kong after the Foreign Ministers' meeting, follows:

The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met with the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, this evening in Hong Kong.

The Ministers held wide ranging discussions on bilateral relations between the two countries including matters related to the Norwegian facilitation in the Sri Lankan peace process.

Minister Samaraweera, reiterated the new President's commitment to the peace process and the role of Norway as the facilitator.

The Sri Lankan minister also discussed operational modalities for the resumption of talks.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store welcomed the commitment demonstrated by the Sri Lankan government to move the peace process forward.

Mr. Store underlined that the new Norwegian Government is fully committed to engage as a facilitator.

The ministers look forward to an early visit by Norwegian Minister of Development Mr Erik Solheim, to Sri Lanka to initiate the resumption of talks with the GOSL and the LTTE.

The composition of the Norwegian team, including a Special Envoy, will be announced shortly.

The Ministers were optimistic that talks on the strengthening of the implementation and effective monitoring of the ceasefire can commence early next year.

Hong Kong
15 December 2005

 

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