M A I N   N E W S

No room for monarchy, Maoists, Nepal told
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 7
India today opened the channel with Nepalís now-ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA) which has been under constraint for more than one year as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held intensive talks with his visiting Nepalese counterpart, Girija Prasad Koirala.

During their 40-minute-long one-to-one talks and nearly an hour-long delegation-level talks, the two Prime Ministers discussed the political transformation that is under way in Nepal. The Indian side conveyed its position that New Delhi favoured a gradual political transformation in Nepal utilising democratic arrangements in such a way that all interests of the society, which are broadly represented by the SPA.

On the sensitive issues of the roles of the monarchy and Left-wing extremism of Maoists - two extremes of the Nepalese political spectrum - India conveyed its position clearly. The Indian position is that there is no room for a large role of the monarchy in Nepal and there is no room for Maoists in the countryís political space if they donít shun violence.

New Delhi emphasised that the institutional systems in Nepal should be developed in such a way that they accommodate all interests and various shades of society.

India assured that it would come out with all possible help for bailing Nepal out of its current economic crisis. A detailed economic assistance from India is likely to be announced on June 9 in the Joint Statement when Mr Koiralaís four-day official visit concludes.

The exact quantum of Indian economic package to Nepal is being worked out. However, the indications are that it would be substantial - in short term as well as long term. The Indian side is looking at the possibility of announcing immediate release of a Rs 100 crore tranche to Nepal, besides rescheduling Indian loans to Nepal and giving special privileges to Nepalese industry for trade with India.

Dr Manmohan Singh told Mr Koirala that Nepal was at a historic juncture and conveyed Indiaís full support, within its means, for Nepalís economic recovery and reconstruction efforts. He also assured the visiting dignitary that

India was deeply committed to several large projects in the social and infrastructure sectors such as roads, bridges, railway linkages and ongoing projects will be pursued with renewed vigor.

Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesman said it would restore military supplies to Nepal if a formal request were made, though he hastened to add that no such request was made during todayís talks.

This is the first visit abroad of the Prime Minister of Nepal after he assumed office on April 30. Mr Koiralaís visiting delegation includes Mr. Gopal Man Shreshtha, Minister of Physical Planning and Construction, Mr. Mahanta Thakur, Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat, Finance Minister, Mr. Rajendra Prasad Pandey, Minister for Local Development and Mrs. Urmila Aryal, Minister of State for Women, Child and Social Welfare.

At the delegation-level talks, Dr Manmohan Singh was joined by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister T K A Nair, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and Indian Ambassador in Kathmandu Shiv Shanker Mukherjee.



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