SL hails India's role in peace process

Lankan foreign minister says New Delhi is not only a part and parcel of the peace effort but also supportive of it.
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Updated on Mar 17, 2007 01:43 PM IST
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PTI | By, Washington

Sril Lanka has hailed India's role in the peace process to end conflict in that country with visiting Foreign Minister Rohita Bogollagama stressing that New Delhi was not only "a part and parcel" of the effort but was also very supportive of it.

"...We (the government) are interested in a political approach and the Indians are very supportive of that outcome ... I discussed all the details with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on January 31, 2007. So that shows how much closely we are working with Indians about this in relation to the process," the minister said on Friday.

Bogollagama, who capped his visit by meeting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said "India is one of the closest countries in terms of our bilateral relations that dates back to centuries and our working relationship is very unique ... They are part and parcel of the process towards which we are looking for sustainable peace in our country".

"They attempted that in the past and they have made a major sacrifice at the hands of the LTTE. They have lost their people, they have lost their leader, Rajiv Gandhi," he added.

Bogollagama was speaking to media persons at the end of his three-day working visit to Washington in which he had discussions with senior officials of the Bush administration on a range of issues that included bilateral, regional and global.

He also met National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and senior officials at the Treasury and Defence departments.

He urged US officials to stop LTTE from raising money in the US to pay for continuing violence against the government.

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