Thursday, April 19, 2007

Greece Dedicated to Fighting Terrorism

Colombo, 20 April, (Asiantribune.com): Greece has assured Sri Lanka of its fullest support to curb terrorism. Greece Foreign Minister Dora Bokayannis said Greece is presently working with the European Union and the United States in the exchange of information to curb terrorism. “We will do whatever possible to not allow terrorists or their front organizations to raise funds and to include the LTTE in the list of terrorist organizations”, Minister Bokayannis said. With the vast experience in the field of Shipping and Naval activities the Government of Greece also assured support for the Sri Lankan Government in Coast Guard training and related fields.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Wednesday (18th) met Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Dora Bokayannis during his official visit to Greece.

Earlier, Minister Rohitha Bogollagama explained the present situation in Sri Lanka and the efforts being taken by the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to bring about a negotiated settlement to the conflict. He said the Government is prepared for talks with the LTTE, but the reluctance shown by the LTTE to come to the negotiating table has hindered the peace process.

Minister Bogollagama sought the support of the international community to pressure the LTTE to return to the negotiating table and to combat all forms of terrorism including illegal arms smuggling, fund raising, drug smuggling, money laundering and human smuggling. He also noted that out of the 25 districts in Sri Lanka only two and half districts were affected by LTTE activity and therefore when countries issue travel advisories it is important to mention that the remaining areas of the country is safe to travel.

Minister Rohitha Bogllagama thanked the Government of Greece for the Euro 37 million support provided during the post Tsunami reconstruction phase. He said the people are back to business and most of the reconstruction work is now completed. Foreign Minister Bokayannis said the people of Greece had supported the building of hospitals, schools and fishery harbors and to provide boats for fishermen after the Tsunami devastation that hit Sri Lanka. She pledged to continue to do so. The two Ministers agreed to work together and appoint a joint committee for further action in the areas of Investment, Trade, Culture, Tourism, Training and Education and Fisheries.

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