HC Deb 19 June 2002 vol 387 cc401-2W
Angus Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Nepal concerning the Maoist rebellion; what advice his Department has offered; if he has offered to mediate between the two sides; and if he will make a statement. [62891]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

We are very concerned about the situation in Nepal. This brutal insurgency by the Maoists is undermining Nepal's young democracy and fragile economy.

During his visit to the United Kingdom last month, the Nepalese Prime Minister held meetings with my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for International Development and my predecessor my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw), at which these matters were discussed. We reassured the Nepalese Prime Minister of our full support, while making clear the need for effective action by them on reform and development. We reiterated our commitment to continuing our developmental, political and military assistance to Nepal.

We are hosting an international conference in London on 19/20 June with the Nepalese Government and representatives from other countries who share our concerns, to discuss how the international community can best co-ordinate its efforts in supporting the people of Nepal.

We would support the resumption of peaceful negotiations between the two parties and are prepared to lend assistance should the opportunity arise.

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