- Title: NEPAL: United Nations officials meet Nepal's prime minister in Kathmandu
- Date: 9th May 2006
- Summary: SAMUEL GETTING INTO CAR WITHOUT REPLYING TO QUESTIONS
- Embargoed: 24th May 2006 13:00
- Location: Nepal
- Country: Nepal
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA9W5XSSNZICRMMXJGZ5GN3XRKR
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- Story Text: A top United Nations official met Nepal's new Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Tuesday (May 9) and offered to help the Himalayan kingdom's efforts to end a decade-old Maoist insurgency in which thousands have died.
Tamrat Samuel, a special adviser to the UN's department for political affairs, met Koirala at his official residence in Kathmandu and conveyed Secretary General Kofi Annan's message.
"It is their concern to transform it into peace, it was the context in which he met the prime minister," Suresh Chalise, Koirala's spokesman told reporters after the meeting.
"They want to know what can the UN do in this process," Chalise said, adding, "There has been a major role for the UN in the process of advancing democracy and Human Rights respect, let it be the same in the future."
Samuel's visit came days after Nepal's new multi-party government matched a Maoist ceasefire and called the rebels for peace talks to which the guerrillas agreed. No date has been fixed for the first meeting.
Last month King Gyanendra bowed to weeks of often bloody protests in which at least 17 people were killed and thousands wounded, and handed power back to political parties.
Nepal's mainstream parties and the Maoist rebels, who entered into a deal in November to oust the king, are now preparing for elections to an assembly charged with writing a new constitution and deciding the monarchy's future.
The Maoists have been fighting since 1996 to set up communist rule in Nepal, but now say they are willing to accept the make-up of the assembly and the decisions it takes.
More than 13,000 people have died in the conflict that has also badly hurt Nepal's aid and tourism dependent economy.
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