Norway-Sri Lanka exchange views on Thailand talks

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 April 2002, 17:41 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe and Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Vidar Helgessen Monday afternoon exchanged views on the agenda for peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which is scheduled to take place in Thailand in May or June, sources said.

Mr. Erik Solheim, special advisor to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry who arrived Colombo Monday joined in the discussion held in Bentota, a tourist resort, 65 km off deep south of Colombo.

Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Prime Minister told reporters at Bentota that "my government would give due consideration to the question of lifting the ban on the LTTE without affecting the international ban on it (LTTE)."

The Prime Minister said "the LTTE has raised the de-proscription as the key issue before holding face-to-face talks in Thailand. As such the government is willing to consider its demand favourably."

"I am highly impressed with the progress of the agreement signed between the government and the LTTE", said Mr. Vidar Helgessen before starting talks with Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Prime Minister.

Mr.Helgessen told reporters, " We have to face several challenges in the path of achieving peace. However we have moved in the right direction."

The Norway Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Vidar Helgessen is due to leave Colombo on Wednesday to Killinochchi to meet LTTE leader Mr.Pirapaharan to discuss the outcome of the talks he had with Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Monday, government sources said.

 

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