Govt-Maoist talks gaining pace: Martin

Kathmandu, October 26:

UN secretary-general Kofi Annan’s personal representative in Nepal, Ian Martin, said today the ongoing peace talks between the government and Maoists were picking up after Tihar holidays.

“The dialogue is indeed picking up again after holidays,” said Martin after meeting Suresh Chalise, foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala.

Asked if any model of arms management has been finalised, he said the United Nations’ job was “to help the government and Maoists find out the modalities of arms management.” He also said the modalities of the arms management are being discussed. “The modalities are still being discussed and would be finalised soon,” Chalise said.

He said a solution will be worked out in two months.

He said discussions to separate arms from the rebels, and not from the Nepali Army, were underway. “Talks between the UN, the government and the Maoists will finally explore the modality for arms management,” he said, adding that the modality will be based on the five-point letter sent to the UN.”

Chalise, who had recently gone to China as a special envoy of the PM, also said the northern neighbour was keen on helping Nepal with her peace process.

Stating that the main objective of his visit was to apprise the Chinese government about the unfolding political developments in Nepal, Chalise said: “China is hopeful that peace process would progress and a solution would be found out.”

He said he had met vice-chairman of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese vice foreign minister.