US says backs Sri Lanka, urges talks

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 October 2006, 22:41 GMT]
As the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers prepare for their first face-to-face talks since February, the United States Saturday, whilst supporting the negotiations, threw its weight behind the Colombo government. "We have excellent relations with the government of Sri Lanka. I have met with President [Mahinda] Rajapakse. We are signaling our strong support for the government of Sri Lanka. We do not recognise Tamil Tigers and we don't support them,” Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told a round table of South Asian journalists.

R. Nicholas meets Mahinda Rajapaksa.
United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Nicholas Burns. (photo U.S. Embassy Colombo)
"The US does not recognise the LTTE. We don't deal with them, we don't support them, we are extremely critical of them.... we have no sympathy whatsoever for the Tamil Tigers," he said.

However, the US backed negotiations with the LTTE, Mr. Burns said.

"We believe that there is no military solution … and we are strong supporters of negotiations," he was quoted by PTI as saying.

"We are one of the countries sponsoring these talks, and so the way out is a peace agreement."

"But at the same time, we absolutely, fundamentally criticise the tactics and they (Tigers) are reprehensible and bloody... because there are innocent people being killed in Sri Lanka," he added.

"They are a terrorist organisation, they have brought nothing but misery to the people of Sri Lanka as well as to the Tamil population of Sri Lanka," he said. He did not elaborate on the distinction.

 

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