Friday, June 20, 2008

UK Minister's Call for Govt Formation

THT Online
Kathmandu, June 21

British Minister for International Development Shahid Malik arrived in Kathmandu on Friday for a three-day visit to help the political parties move forward to form a government.
Talking to reporters at the airport, Malik said he plans to visit Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and leaders of the CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, among others, including UN representatives and civil society members.
"In the next few days we will have interactions and positive discussions with the political leaders and see how we can help Nepal," said Malik.
Claiming that Nepali people wanted a government more than anything else, Malik said, "There have been 13,000 deaths in the past and the violence should be dead by now. Therefore, the rule of law and respect for human rights are crucial in this new Nepal."
He said that responsibility now falls on the representatives of political parties to decide on the path ahead.
"UK is ready, as ever, to assist in whatever role the Nepali people demand. We are committed in word and in deed," said Malik, adding: "And we will increase aid in development and help deliver a peace dividend to Nepal, to help stimulate further development. There is already a movement. It will just take some time. People here have waited for 15 years and need to be a bit more patient."
Minister Malik congratulated Nepali people and political leaders for successful transition from monarchy to republic. "This is the first country that I have visited twice during my tenure, and this shows my personal as well as the UK's commitment towards Nepal," he said.
As for the UK's reaction against the Maoists emerging as the biggest political party, he said, "I respect the will of the people."
He also said the UK will support the decision of the people if they wanted extension of UNMIN's stay for another three months.

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