A senior European Union diplomat on Friday appealed for an end to political violence in Nepal and promised the EU was ready to support a peace deal between the government and Maoist rebels.
"The Nepalese people far too long have lived in an atmosphere of fear," said Pekka Metso, a foreign ministry Asia director for Finland, which holds the EU presidency.
"It is important that impunity should end, law and order be maintained and that civilians live without fear. There can be no place in today's Nepal for abductions, extortion and political violence," he said.
The impoverished Himalayan nation's Maoist insurgents and multi-party government have reached a peace deal that will see the rebels enter the political mainstream in return for placing their army and weapons under UN supervision.
The EU is "ready to give all possible support" to the process, Metso said.
A European Commission official also said the EU could provide election monitors for polls, due in June 2007, to elect a body to rewrite Nepal's constitution.
"We are looking very seriously at things like help with voter education and voter registrations and possibly further down the road, election observation," said James Moran, the European Commission's director for Asia.
During their three-day visit, the EU delegation met officials including Nepal's prime minister and rebel and government negotiators.