THT 10 years ago: US, UK envoys welcome HoR declaration

Kathmandu, May 19, 2006

Ambassador of United States, James F Moriarty, and the UK envoy, Keith Bloomfield, have welcomed the declaration of the House of Representatives 2063 and said it was a historic step.

“My government is delighted with the historic step. We welcome the proclamation,” said ambassador Moriarty after attending the briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

He said he does not see that the RNA would be politicised because it has been brought under the parliament. “The parliament and the government, on behalf of the people, will control the Army,” Moriarty said.

Asked when the United States would lift the Maoists from its terrorist watch list, the ambassador said his country will “wait to see clear changes in the Maoists’ actions.

We still view the Maoists as a terrorist organisation as they continue with extortion and intimidation, that’s why we are suspicious.” Regarding the Maoists’ sincerity to enter the mainstream, Moriarty said: “That is for them to decide, they need to give up violence.”

The British ambassador Bloomfield welcomed the historic declaration stating it was “wonderful”.

Stating he was not a constitutional lawyer, he said: “As the foreign minister (of Nepal) has said, this is the sovereignty of people,” which matters most.

Talks team by next week, says Oli

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister KP Oli today told heads of the foreign missions in Kathmandu that the government will form its team to hold dialogue with the Maoists next week. “We are going to form the talks team within a week.

There is no reason to delay that, even the cabinet meeting today will discuss it,” Oli told the ambassadors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

He said that certain questions have to be addressed and prerequisites met for including the Maoists in an interim government. “We are in favour of an interim government with the Maoists but that will materialise only when the prerequisites are fulfilled,” said Oli.

Stating that extortion and intimidation by the Maoists are continuing, he added: “How can we talk about the interim government with them when extortion and intimidation are taking place? We want to bring them in the interim government but that is not with arms and violence.”

He said that the government first will hold peace talks with the rebels, and for that the Code of Conduct is yet to be prepared. “At this point, what the people of Nepal expect is sincerity on the part of the Maoists and their commitment to renounce violence, intimidation and extortion and join the peaceful political mainstream.”

He expressed the government’s readiness to work with the United Nations, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other institutions in the context of the peace process.