US, UN welcome breaking of political deadlock in Nepal

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Kathmandu, Feb 29 (UNI) The US has welcomed the agreement between the Nepal government and the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF).

''The US welcomes the decision by the three United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) parties to sign a political agreement today with the Government of Nepal,'' the US embassy said in a statement.

''We expect this agreement will lead the UDMF parties to end their Terai bandh (general strike) with immediate effect and will pave the way for the three parties to participate fully in the upcoming Constituent Assembly election on April 10,'' it said.

''We expect further that both sides will fulfill the terms of the agreement. A free and fair election is the desire, we believe, of all Nepalis - in the mountains, the hills and the plains - and the United States is committed to doing its part to assist the people of Nepal in making this historic opportunity a reality,'' it stated.

Chief of the United Nations Mission to Nepal and the Special Representative of UN Secretary General Ian Martin also hailed the pact.

''I warmly welcome today's agreement between the Seven-Party Alliance Government and the UDMF. Its implementation will be an important contribution to the election of an inclusive Constituent Assembly in a conducive climate,'' Mr Martin said.

UNI XC SZ PM1343

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