Concerned by 'difficult situation' in Sri Lanka, Annan hopes peace talks can restart

26 January 2004

Voicing concern over the difficult situation in Sri Lanka, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he still hopes that the peace talks between the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) can resume in the near future.

The Secretary-General "is most grateful for the positive contribution of Norway to the process and hopes that the Norwegian Government will resume its efforts to bring the parties to the negotiating table," a statement issued by a UN spokesman in New York said.

The statement added that the Secretary-General is glad that the parties continue to respect the ceasefire agreement of February 2002, and appreciates the role played by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), which was set up under that accord and comprises observers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Through his spokesman, the Secretary-General also appealed to the international community to continue its assistance to areas most affected by the war.