India sees "internal processes" producing solution

[TamilNet, Thursday, 01 December 2005, 17:51 GMT]
Commenting on Sri Lanka’s conflict and peace process, India said Thursday it "believes that an enduring solution can only emerge essentially through internal political processes." In a joint statement issued by both countries on the occasion of Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s visit to Delhi, the Indian government said it “continues to maintain an abiding interest in the security of Sri Lanka and remains committed to its sovereignty and territorial integrity."

The full text of the joint press statement on Mr. Samaraweera’s visit to New Delhi follows:

"The Sri Lanka Foreign Minister, Mr. Mangala Samaraweera visited New Delhi for official talks from 30 November to 1 December. He called on the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and had discussions with the Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. E Ahamed.

"Minister Samaraweera apprised the Indian side of the policy the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeks to follow with regard to the peace process in Sri Lanka. He emphasized the continued commitment of the government to the maintenance of the Ceasefire, and the desire for a review of its operations, so that the implementation of the Agreement can be made more effective. The Government also extends a firm invitation to the LTTE to negotiations to discuss a political solution. President Rajapaksa views the greatest possible degree of openness, transparency and inclusivity in the peace process, as being essential for its acceptance and eventual success. Minister Samaraweera spelt out the approaches that President Rajapaksa and his administration would adopt towards this end of arriving at a broad national consensus. Parallel to this endeavour, reconstruction and development in the North and East would be accorded the highest priority.

"Minister Samaraweera affirmed that the Government of Sri Lanka would, in the tradition of close dialogue between the two countries, continue to apprise the Government of India in regard to the ways and means by which the peace process could be made more effective.

"Indian side thanked the Sri Lanka Foreign Minister for outlining the approach of President Rajapaksa and his administration towards the peace process. India believes that an enduring solution can only emerge essentially through internal political processes. India supports the process of seeking a negotiated settlement acceptable to all sections of Sri Lanka society within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, and consistent with democracy, pluralism and respect for human rights. India continues to maintain an abiding interest in the security of Sri Lanka and remains committed to its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"Several other matters of mutual interest, including the further strengthening of economic and commercial cooperation, were addressed during the visit of Minister Samaraweera. Both sides emphasized the need to conclude, as early as possible, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Government of India reiterated to Minister Samaraweera the invitation already extended by it to President Rajapaksa to pay a State Visit to India at the earliest opportunity."

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