- Title: NEPAL: MAOIST REBELS AND GOVERNMENT BEGIN TALKS AIMED AT ENDING INSURGENCY.
- Date: 28th April 2003
- Summary: (U6) KATHMANDU, NEPAL (APRIL 27, 2003) (REUTERS) 1. GV/PAN/MCU: ARRIVAL OF THE NEPALESE GOVERNMENT DELEGATION AT THE MEETING WITH MAOIST REBELS (2 SHOTS) 0.53 ***NIGHTSHOTS 2. MCU: MAOIST REBEL NEGOTIATOR KRISHNA BAHADUR MAHARA (BEARDED ON THE LEFT OF THE SCREEN, NOT WELL SEEN) AND GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATOR NARAYAN SINGH PUN HOLDING NEWS CONFERENCE (GLASSES/CLEAN) 1.22 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 13th May 2003 13:00
- Location: KATHMANDU, NEPAL
- Country: Nepal
- Reuters ID: LVA8BGEUUUF0XYEEAGEWT3ZOPF2S
- Story Text: Nepal's Maoist rebels and the government have begun
discussions in an effort to end the insurgency in which
thousands have died, officials said the first round of talks
were held in a cordial atmosphere.
The first talks in 17 months were held in a hotel in
the capital Kathmandu on Sunday (April 27). They have raised
hopes for peace after seven years of fighting to topple the
constitutional monarchy and establish communist rule.
The rebels said the meeting, which lasted
four-and-a-half-hours, was held "in a very good and cordial
atmosphere" and both sides had decided to meet again, although
no dates were finalised yet.
The rebels, who model themselves on the lines of the late
Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, are seeking a meeting
with major political parties to form an interim government
that will oversee fresh elections and draft a new
Government negotiator Narayan Singh Pun, who is also
planning minister, said the government would discuss the
rebels' demands later.
Both Mahara and Pun said there were positive indications
for the future round of talks to be successful.
The six-member government team is headed by Deputy Prime
Minister Badri Prasad Mandal, who said last week that the
talks could cover all subjects.
It is not clear how long the latest discussions will last
but the conflict, that began in 1996, has claimed more than
7,200 lives after peace talks failed in the past.
Analysts have said big differences remain between the two
sides and lasting peace could be a long way off.
Peace talks collapsed in November 2001 and violence
spiralled after the then government refused to abolish the
monarchy, a hugely popular institution in the Hindu kingdom
where the king is seen as god.
The revolt has increased Nepal's economic woes, scaring
away investors and tourists from the scenic mountainous
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