Norway wants to hold talks in Colombo Airport

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 September 2005, 13:22 GMT]
A press release issued from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wednesday said that Norway has determined that the only possible venue to hold talks on improving the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is Colombo International Airport. The Sri Lankan Government has maintained that it wants the meeting to be held in Sri Lanka, while the LTTE has repeated its preference for Kilinochchi or a venue outside Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the Norwegian FM has called an extraordinary meeting of the Sri Lanka co-chairs in New York on 19 September, the press release added.

Full text of the press release issued by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs follows:

Oslo, 7 September 2005

Statement by the Royal Norwegian Government

The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) as well as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have, in written communication to the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG), expressed their strong commitment to hold a meeting to consider practical ways of improving the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement, which has been seriously undermined by violence over recent months and by current developments.

As facilitator, the Royal Norwegian Government has held consultations with both parties regarding the venue for such a meeting. Throughout these consultations, the Government of Sri Lanka has maintained that it wants the meeting to be held in Sri Lanka, while the LTTE has repeated its preference for Kilinochchi or a venue outside Sri Lanka. On this background, the Royal Norwegian Government has determined that the only possible venue is the Colombo International Airport. This venue is in Sri Lanka, and hence should be acceptable to the Government of Sri Lanka. Any travel out of the country by the LTTE would have involved several hours of transit at the Colombo International Airport. Hence we draw the conclusion that this venue also should be acceptable to the LTTE. The Royal Norwegian Government will shortly call a meeting of the parties at the Colombo International Airport.

Jan Petersen, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, has called an extraordinary meeting of the Sri Lanka co-chairs (USA, European Union, Japan and Norway) in New York on 19 September. The meeting will address the increasingly difficult security situation in Sri Lanka and the need to strengthen respect for the Ceasefire Agreement.

 

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