Fischer leaves Sri Lanka for India visit

19th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 July 2004COLOMBO - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer ended a two-day visit to Sri Lanka Monday after talks on a range of issues, including Sri Lanka's support for Germany's bid to secure a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

19 July 2004

COLOMBO - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer ended a two-day visit to Sri Lanka Monday after talks on a range of issues, including Sri Lanka's support for Germany's bid to secure a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Fischer met with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe before leaving for India at mid-day. A scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse was cancelled because the premier was visiting India.

Extensive talks were held Sunday between Fischer and his counterpart, Lakshman Kadirgamar, during which he sought Sri Lanka's support for German efforts to become one of the five permanent UN Security Council members and for reforming the world body.

The local Island newspaper described the trip as "a rare visit of a high-ranking German leader" to the country during a crucial political period that has drawn the attention of the international community.

The visit came amid fresh efforts by Norwegian facilitators to revive stalled peace talks between the government and Tamil rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Officials said Fischer discussed this issue with the president, foreign minister and opposition leader and expressed his hope that the peace talks can resume soon.

Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen is due in Sri Lanka next weekend for talks with rebels and the government in a bid to revive the discussions, which have been stalled since April 2003.

DPA

Subject: German news

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