Solheim expresses hope for agreement on Joint Mechanism

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 April 2005, 10:22 GMT]
Mr. Erik Solheim, the Norwegian Special Peace Envoy to Sri Lanka, said Wednesday that the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers are close to enter into an agreement on the long awaited Joint Mechanism to distribute international aid for post-tsunami rebuilding effort in the NorthEast. However, Mr. Solheim said that there were still some issues that need to be resolved before signing the document.

Solheim
(Photo: AFP)
Rejecting the media rumours that the parties have already reached an agreement and it would be signed this time during his stay in Colombo, Mr. Solheim said: "The parties are close to an agreement. They have agreed to nearly everything. There are still some issues that have to be resolved," Mr. Solheim told journalists after a meeting with Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader, Mr. Ruaf Hakeem.

"We do hope that the parties will be in a position to sign this document in two or three or four weeks time," Mr. Solheim added.

Earlier in the morning, Mr. Solheim met with LTTE's Head of Political Division, Mr. S.P.Thamilchelvan and his delegation, who had just arrived in Bandaranaike International Airport after visiting European countries and South Africa.

Commenting on his meeting with the SLMC leader, he said that Muslim people were concerned that they too should have been party to the discussions on the tsunami mechanism.

"These are very understandable concerns and we feel that both the Sri Lanka government and the LTTE on this occasion have done their utmost to try to accommodate Muslim concerns," Mr. Solheim said.

 

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