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Restore democracy: EU to Nepal King

Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), issued the strong statement on Tuesday.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2006 20:01 IST
UK Bureau
UK Bureau

Javier Solana, European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), issued a strong statement on Tuesday, the day when the multi-party government in Nepal was dissolved on February 1, 2005. King Gyanendra assumed direct power.

Solana said, "One year on, I remain concerned by the lack of progress towards a return to democratic government at a time when Nepal faces many challenges to its stability."

He added that the European Union "has made clear on repeated occasions, as a long-standing friend and partner of Nepal, that it shares His Majesty's wish (from his proclamation to the nation last February) that Nepal be seen as 'a progressive nation, occupying a pride of place in the international community, where democratic ideals thrive in a peaceful environment'.

This is the right objective and can be attained. But in order for it to happen there has to be an urgent change of direction to deliver the peace, democracy and other civil liberties that the people of Nepal want and need.

"While the EU understands the difficulty of the security and humanitarian situation in the face of repeated Maoist atrocities, including today's senseless attack, which we condemn unreservedly, it cannot condone the Government's restrictions on the exercise of fundamental rights by the Nepalese people and its failure to engage on a negotiated settlement to the conflict. It has long been clear that there can be no military solution to the current situation."

He urged the King and his government to show the necessary leadership and foresight by restoring all political and civil liberties, resuming dialogue with the main parties and taking steps towards a cease-fire and inclusive national dialogue to bring an end to the conflict.

"The sad failure by the King and his government to declare a truce and to engage in dialogue at the time of the recent Maoist unilateral ceasefire was an opportunity missed."

Solana also said that he, together with the whole EU, would continue to monitor closely the situation in Nepal and to press for early progress towards peace and genuine democracy.

First Published: Feb 01, 2006 20:01 IST