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India against separatism, Indian FM tells Opposition leader

INDIA: The Indian Government or the international community would in no way endorse the withdrawal from the ceasefire agreement nor the pursuance of a separate state in respect of Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukarjee said.

Meeting Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Indian Foreign Ministry yesterday, Mukarjee said India would extend its fullest support for a negotiated settlement to the North and East problem.

He ruled out a military solution maintaining that war could not bring any victory other than causing chaos and misery to the ordinary people of Sri Lanka.

Both sides should take steps to immediately resume talks, he said.

This, Mukarjee said was the view of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh as well as the Indian Government's stand, adding that India would never deviate from this which is also supported by the international community. He said it was his firm belief that the problem would be eventually resolved.

The Opposition Leader told the Indian Foreign Minister he believed lasting peace could be forged if the matter is approached on the basis of the proposals contained in the MOU signed between the SLFP and the UNP for the resolution of the North-East problem adding that they felt the Indian model was a good example.

Mukarjee said India welcomed the MOU signed between the two major parties and that sans a political solution to the problem, the country could not hope to move forward. Wickremesinghe is also scheduled to leave for Madya Pradesh where he is scheduled to participate in a series of functions.

 

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