Pranab holds bi-lateral talks with Sri Lankan counterpart in Uganda

November 21st, 2007 - 10:39 pm ICT by admin  

By Pankaj Chaudhary

Kampala (Uganda), Nov 21 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama here on Wednesday ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) beginning tomorrow.

The two leaders held a 40-minute long bi-lateral meeting, during which several issues, including international, bi-lateral relations between the two nations and the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka were discussed.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, who is accompanying Mukherjee at the meeting, said that the Indian and Sri Lankan leaders had a substantive exchange of views on various issues.

“External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had a good meeting with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister where they discussed the issues that will come up in the summit (CHOGM), Menon said.

One was obviously about the Kamlesh Sharma candidature for the post of Secretary General which was actually originally proposed by Sri Lanka and they were the ones who actually said that why not India put forward their candidate, he added.

The Sri Lankan Minister briefed Mukherjee about the internal development in Sri Lanka, Menon said, adding that India looked forward to a Sri Lanka within which all communities find themselves comfortable with an arrangement within the unity of Sri Lanka, which works for all communities and that a credible devolution package would be a measure step in that direction.

Bogollagama said that he had a very cordial meeting with Mukherjee in which he kept the “Minister informed of the progress that they have made in APRC (All Party Representative Committee).”

“In fact, what we are looking at and what I said to Minister Pranab Mukherjee is that we are entering into the final phase on APRC deliberations and shortly we will be announcing the proposals –I think it will be out by the end of this year and that end of our budget …that is being discussed in the House,” Bogollagama added.
The APRC was appointed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and set up in 2006 to work out a common programme reaching consensus among southern political parties to find a political solution to the Tamil national question through peaceful means. (ANI)

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