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Norway Appoints New Peace Envoy for Sri Lanka


Norway has appointed a new peace envoy to help mediate between Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels to resolve decades-old ethnic conflict.

A Norwegian government statement says Foreign Ministry peace expert Jon Hanssen-Bauer would take over from Erik Solheim, who brokered a cease-fire agreement between the two sides in 2002.

The statement says Hanssen-Bauer will be responsible for the day-to-day work as peace facilitator and Solheim will have overall responsibility and will visit Sri Lanka regularly.

Solheim said on Thursday that he no longer had time to work both as Norway's minister for international development and as peace envoy.

The next round of Norway-sponsored peace talks between the two sides are scheduled for April 19 in Geneva.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.