“Political impasse cannot be allowed to continue” - Armitage

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 December 2003, 05:10 GMT]
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Richard Armitage, who met with Sri Lanka’s Minister for Economic Reform, Science and Technology, Mr. Milinda Moragoda, in Washington, DC, on Monday, said that “the current political impasse cannot be allowed to continue,” and that the U.S. “looks forward to an early resumption” of the peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

According to a press release on Monday, signed by the Deputy Spokesman of the U.S. State Department, Mr. Adam Ereli, and posted on the department’s website, Mr. Armitage told the visiting Sri Lankan minister that the United States “ maintains a strong interest in Sri Lanka finding a resolution to its 20-year civil conflict,” and that the current cohabitation crisis “will have a negative impact on the peace process until a clarification of responsibilities that would allow the Prime Minister to resume peace negotiations can be found.”

The United States, which co-chaired a conference of nations providing aid to Sri Lanka in June 2003 in Japan, according to Mr. Armitage, would consult with the other co-chairs--Japan, Norway and the European Union-- to “define a way forward after taking stock of the situation.”

Mr. Armitage re-iterated his previous statements that the U.S "stands behind Sri Lanka in its search for peace.”


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