HC Deb 25 June 2002 vol 387 c786W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Nepalese Government regarding the escalation of terrorist attacks by Maoist groups. [63480]

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. Maoist terrorists are conducting a savage campaign of intimidation in Nepal to further their own political aims.

The UK has long been a friend of Nepal and we are committed to continuing our developmental, political and military assistance to them. This message was reiterated to the Nepalese Prime Minister during his visit last month to the UK by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for International Development and my predecessor, the hon. Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw). We reassured the Nepalese Prime Minister of our full support, but also made clear the need for effective action by the Nepalese Government on reform and development.

We have just hosted an international conference in London with representatives from the Nepalese Government and 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 will continue to develop an integrated approach to security, reform and development within Nepal.

The UK has put together a comprehensive package of developmental and military assistance totalling more than £30 million for this financial year. This money will cover projects aimed at short-term development and to reinforce Nepal's development, military and police capacity.