Norway says it will work with Tigers for peace deal
Norway, which is not a member of the 25-nation EU, has been facilitating talks between Sri Lanka's government and the Tigers.india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 11:22 IST
Norway said on Saturday that it would work with Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers in an effort to facilitate a peace deal on the troubled Indian Ocean island, despite the EU having officially added the rebel group to its terror blacklist.
Norway, which is not a member of the 25-nation European Union, has been facilitating talks between Sri Lanka's government and the Tigers, whose 2002 ceasefire appears increasingly fragile due to recent violence that has left an estimated 374 people dead since the start of April.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said he was "very disappointed" with setbacks to the peace process since the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held talks in Geneva in February.
A second round slated for April was cancelled after the two sides blamed each other for rising violence.
We will continue to have the contact with the LTTE because that is a precondition for us having the role as a peace mediator in Sri Lanka," Stoltenberg told reporters.
"They have to find the solutions," Stoltenberg said. "We are still willing to assist the parties in facilitating and mediating peace talks.