The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress on Friday ruled out from joining the government but said it would assist in the formation of a broad national coalition to help resolve national issues.
Leader of the SLMC Rauff Hakeem speaking to The Island Friday night, shortly after Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse called on him at his Kollupitiya residence, said that the talks centred around the formation of a broad national coalition.
Asked if there was an invitation to join the government, Hakeem said that the discussion focussed on getting the country out of its present predicament and not on the SLMC joining the government.
`We welcome President Mahinda Rajapakse`s invitation to Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to join the peace process and hope he would respond positively.`
Hakeem told The Island the most important thing was to build a southern consensus on ending the conflict and the SLMC would do all in its power to bring the two main parties together in this regard.
`The international community has repeatedly stressed that it needs a southern consensus if it is to underwrite any peace agreement between the government and the LTTE. So what is required at this juncture is for a meeting of minds between the UPFA and UNP without any preconditions.`
Hakeem said that in resolving the ethnic issue the Muslim dimension cannot be forgotten.
`The Muslims caught between the govt and the LTTE have suffered the most and to ignore them in finding a solution to the North-East war means there cannot be real peace`, he said.