Norway says it will remain Sri Lankan peacemaker but on its own terms

HONG KONG, Dec 15 (AFP) – Norway’s foreign minister told his Sri Lankan counterpart Thursday that Oslo would continue trying to broker peace in the island’s long-running ethnic conflict, but only under strict conditions. HONG KONG, Dec 15 (AFP) – Norway’s foreign minister told his Sri Lankan counterpart Thursday that Oslo would continue trying to broker peace in the island’s long-running ethnic conflict, but only under strict conditions. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store met Sri Lanka’s Mangala Samaraweera late Thursday on the sidelines of the World Trade Organisation conference in Hong Kong to reassure Colombo that Norway remained committed to staying on as mediator.

“I have reiterated that this is a commitment of the Norwegian government because I think they wanted to hear that the new Norwegian government stands behind this,” he told AFP after the meeting.

“I have also underlined…the framework and the ground rules that have to apply if we are going to be able to play this kind of role.”

The move follows an upsurge in violence that has left 35 people dead this month, including 18 soldiers.

Diplomatic efforts to arrange talks on reviving a tenuous ceasefire in force since February 2002 have rema