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India looks for peace in Lanka within parameters of single state

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 28, IRNA
India-Sri Lanka-Negotiator
Sri Lankan peace negotiator Eric Solheim, who arrived here Saturday on a day long visit to confer with Indian leaders, said "New Delhi looked for peace in Sri Lanka within the parameters of a single state. He said Norway appreciated India's advice and also kept it fully informed of the developments in the peace process."
India is "fully supportive" of the peace process in Sri Lanka but its presence at the talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Geneva next month is not expected, Solheim said.

"There is no indication of India's direct presence at the talks," the Norwegian peace negotiator and his country's international development minister, who briefed National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran on the developments in the peace process, told reporters here.

The upcoming talks in Geneva to try to end the nearly three-year deadlock in the peace process are expected to be held in the middle or latter part of February, he said.

Tamil Tiger rebels Wednesday agreed to hold talks with the Sri Lankan government in Geneva in mid-February after hectic negotiations with Solheim, capped by the negotiator's meeting with Prabhakaran at the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi, the political capital of LTTE.

The talks would be limited to the implementation of the truce which has come under increasing strain recently, LTTE's chief negotiator Anton Balasingham said after the closed-door meeting between Solheim and Prabhakaran.

"Talks on further matters could only take place after complete cessation of the Sri Lankan military's violent repression of the population in government-held areas of the northeast."
In a separate press conference, Solheim said the talks would focus on strengthening the ceasefire agreement after a surge in violence left 152 people dead since December.

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