Tuesday, December 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Ranil holds talks with PM, Advani
Tribune News Service

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee greets his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi on Monday. 
— Reuters photo

President K. R. Narayanan (2nd L) and First Lady Usha Narayanan (L) with Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe and his wife at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. 

Congress President and leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sonia Gandhi with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi. — PTI photos

New Delhi, December 24
The revival of the Norwegian peace process was discussed as visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe held wide-ranging discussions here today with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Home Minister L.K.Advani and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh.

At these meetings, India offered to extend the possible help to Sri Lanka to resolve the nearly 18-year-old ethnic crisis in the island nation. 

While assuring Mr Wickremasinghe that India would play its role in helping the peace process, Mr Vajpayee welcomed Sri Lanka’s ceasefire with the LTTE and hoped that it would take the peace process forward.

The Prime Minister also took into account the domestic political compulsions when he assured a six-member PMK delegation led by PMK president Ramdoss that called on him this morning that he would take up with the new Sri Lankan Prime Minister the need to resolve the ethnic crisis at the earliest.

At the end of Mr Wickremasinghe’s three-day visit, a joint statement said India had decided to provide three lakh tonnes of wheat (25,000 tonnes per month for the next 12 months) to Sri Lanka on terms agreed by the two sides.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate in a number of other areas — such as agriculture, power and the IT industry — with immediate effect.


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