Nepal donors resume peace and aid talks
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), one of Nepal's biggest multilateral donors, is sending a senior envoy to Kathmandu on Thursday as two months after the fall of King Gyanendra's regime, the kingdom's major donors pick up the threads of development assistance and discuss their help in the ongoing peace process.
Kunio Senga, director-general of ADB's South Asia Department, will arrive in Kathmandu on Thursday for a three-day official visit during which he will meet Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat, other ministers of the seven-party government and top bureaucrats.
Besides discussing the ongoing peace process with the government and Maoist guerrillas in the middle of negotiations for the rebels to join the government and lay down arms, and the improved security situation after the two sides' calling a truce, Senga will also consult the government on its recently disclosed budget priorities, medium-term reform and development issues.
Besides ADB's ongoing assistance, the bank is likely to commit new assistance for 2006-07.
The ADB official will also meet Lyonpo Chenkyab Dorji, secretary-general of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, and representatives of other development partners to discuss development and regional cooperation issues and visit ADB-assisted project sites.
ADB is one of the major donors to Nepal in development, poverty reduction and good governance programmes.
On Friday, Japan, another of Nepal's biggest bilateral donors, is sending a five-member delegation.
Headed by Yasuhisa Shiozaki, senior vice-minister for foreign affairs, the team will meet Koirala, his deputy and Foreign Affairs Minister KP Oli, as well as Speaker Subhash Nembang during the two-day visit.
On Thursday, a Chinese team will also fly to Kathmandu to mend fences with the new government after Beijing's earlier policy of supporting King Gyanendra.
Chinese vice foreign minister Wu Tawei is heading a 10-member delegation on a three-day visit to discuss "ways to assist in the recent political transformation," the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu said.