As a negotiator of the peace process in Sri Lanka between 1998 to 2005, Solheim said he had gained valuable lessons, including the importance of dialogue and compromise.
“In my view you should always try to talk even with political leaders as well as guerrilla leaders or terrorists leaders who do not seem to be amendable to compromise – let’s try talking,” he said.
Solheim was speaking at the UN as the new head of the United Nations environment agency, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
He was elected to the UNEP position for a four-year term by the General Assembly on 13 May this year, succeeding Achim Steiner of Germany, who led the agency for the past 10 years.
In Sri Lanka Solheim played a key role as peace negotiator between the LTTE and the Government. (Colombo Gazette)