Norway calls for immediate talks between Sri Lanka officials and Tamil rebels

Norway, which brokered the 2002 cease-fire that halted Sri Lanka's two decades of civil war, said Wednesday that the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels should meet urgently to prevent the country from sliding back into war.

Minister of International Development Erik Solheim, the architect of the peace process, said in a statement released in Colombo, that increasing violence was putting the truce "at risk and will make it very difficult to secure further progress in the peace process."

He said Norway had no preference for where talks should be held. "What is important to us is that the government and the LTTE (rebels) meet as soon as possible to discuss the cease-fire," the statement said, quoting Solheim. There was no immediate comment from the rebels or the government, reports the AP. I.L.

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