Solheim meets Indian HC

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 January 2001, 18:00 GMT]
Mr. Eric Solheim, Norway's peace envoy, had discussions Wednesday afternoon with the High Commissioner for India in Colombo, Mr.Gopalakrishna Gandhi, and the Co-leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Mr.Rauf Hakeem who is a minister in the People's Alliance Cabinet. The Norwegian envoy arrived Wednesday morning in Colombo in an apparent attempt to restart the peace initiative run aground after the Sri Lankan government rejected a month long unilateral cease-fire declared last month by the Liberation Tigers as a 'goodwill' gesture.

erik_solheim-1_p.jpgMr. Solheim's two-hour long discussion with Mr. Gandhi was mainly aimed at allaying India's concerns about western third party mediation in Sri Lanka by apprising Delhi of the current stage of the peace initiative, diplomatic sources said.

Norway has sought to address India's apprehensions about the manner of resolving the conflict in Sri Lanka by regularly briefing Delhi about most of the developments related to the conflict resolution process mediated by it in Sri Lanka.

When contacted about Wednesday's meeting, Indian High Commission sources said that they would be sending a detailed report to Delhi about the talks Mr.Gandhi had with the Norway's special envoy.

Mr.Eric Solheim is expected to stay in Sri Lanka for about four days. He is accompanied by two Norwegian Foreign ministry officials. Mr. Solheim will have discussions with the President, Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and the Foreign Minister tomorrow.


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