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Norway hopes talks will continue

Norway’s International Development Minister Erik Solheim hopes that the Sri Lanka government and the LTTE will agree to meet again after their already scheduled meeting on Oct. 28 and 29.

“We just hope that the two sides not just meet in Geneva but also agree to meet again,” Solheim said. “The need of the hour is to ensure that fighting does not escalate further.”

He said that India and the international community are working together on this. Norway wants the international community to be more engaged with both sides in the conflict, the former peace envoy to Sri Lanka said.

“India’s involvement comes with a price. India’s cautiousness is through a deep understanding of the situation in the island,” Solheim said. He welcomed the recent move in Colombo to build a “Southern Consensus” with leadership from President Mahinda Rajapaksa and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi, current Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, and United States Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher have travelled to Sri Lanka, all over the course of this week.

Meanwhile, the LTTE yesterday confirmed their intent to attend the scheduled peace talks in Geneva. The statement came despite deadly suicide attacks in Habarana and Galle this week, which left over 100 people dead.

Courtesy: ColomboPage.com

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