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Diplomats Say Sri Lankan Warring Parties Ready to Talk

Diplomats close to stalled peace talks between Sri Lanka's warring parties say the two sides have agreed to meet in Oslo, Norway in early October without preconditions.

Sri Lanka's main aid donors discussed the agreement at a meeting Tuesday in the Belgian capital, Brussels.

Meanwhile, in Colombo, the Sri Lankan government said it is willing to find replacement for European Union ceasefire monitors who Tamil Tiger rebels ordered out of the country before September first.

Norway, along with Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden, formed a five-nation truce monitoring team in 2002. But earlier this year, the rebels demanded that monitors from European Union countries be excluded from the mission after the EU added the rebels to its list of terror groups.

A spike in violence in recent weeks is threatening to plunge the country back into civil war. Most of the fighting has been around the eastern port of Trincomalee and in northern Jaffna peninsula.

The rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland since 1983. The violence has killed about 65,000 people.

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