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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > December
Press Statement
Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 29, 2003


Sri Lanka: Deputy Secretary Armitage's Meeting With Minister for Economic Reform, Science, and Technology Milinda Moragoda

Deputy Secretary Armitage met today, December 29, with Sri Lankan Minister for Economic Reform, Science, and Technology Milinda Moragoda to discuss the full range of bilateral issues, including the peace process. During their meeting, the Deputy Secretary told Minister Moragoda that the United States maintains a strong interest in Sri Lanka finding a resolution to its 20-year civil conflict. Mr. Armitage said that the current domestic political crisis, precipitated in Colombo during the Prime Ministerís Washington visit, will have a negative impact on the peace process until a clarification of responsibilities that would allow the Prime Minister to resume peace negotiations can be found.

The Deputy Secretary said the current political impasse in Sri Lanka cannot be allowed to continue, and added that he will consult with the other donor co-chairs -- Norway, Japan, and the European Union -- to define a way forward after taking stock of the situation.

The United States stands behind Sri Lanka in its search for peace and looks forward to an early resumption of negotiations between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to end nearly 20 years of conflict.

2003/1299

Released on December 29, 2003

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