26 January 2006

Secretary-General Welcomes February Resumption of Talks on Sri Lanka

NEW YORK, 25 January (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is very pleased to learn that, for the first time since April 2003, the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have agreed to hold direct talks in mid-February in Geneva.

The Secretary-General welcomes the renewed efforts by the Government of Norway to facilitate the resumption of talks.  To advance the peace process, it will be important to put an end to the escalating violence in the north and east and to strictly uphold the ceasefire.  The people of Sri Lanka deserve a new hope that peace could be in reach.

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