Nepal Premier, Maoist leader hold talks
GP Koirala and Pushpa Kamal Dahal met for the first round of direct talks aimed at resolving the Kingdom's decade-long insurgency.india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 17:56 IST
Nepal's Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist leader Prachanda on Friday met for the first round of direct talks aimed at resolving the country's decade-long insurgency.
The talks took place at the Kathmandu residence of Koirala where Prachanda arrived with a deputy under heavy security, sources said.
This is the first meeting between Prachanda, whose real name is Pushpa Kamal Dahal, and the country's Prime Minister since the insurgency began in 1996.
Home Minister Krishna Sitoula on Thursday held talks with Prachanda after which the two sides announced that Koirala and the rebels leader would hold talks soon and constituent assembly elections would be conducted "as soon as possible."
The elections to a Constituent Assembly, which would write a new constitution possibly clipping King Gyanendra's powers, was one of the key demands of the rebels for resuming peace talks.
At the two-hour second round of peace talks, rebel and government representatives agreed to form a monitoring committee comprising peace activists and human rights workers, with help from the United Nations.
The first round of talks to end the conflict took place last month when the two sides agreed on a code of conduct and said they would meet for talks again.
The rebels have observed a ceasefire with the interim government that came to power in April after mass protests forced King Gyanendra to end 14 months of direct rule and reopen parliament.