Indian Speaker welcomes Nepal's political developments

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Kathmandu, May 29 (UNI) Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has welcomed the political developments in Nepal and has assured that India remains steadfast in its commitment to extend all possible support to the youngest republic in realising the goal of a stable, prosperous and democratic nation.

''The successful formation of the Constituent Assembly (CA) to draft a new constitution for the new republic is, above all, a result of painstaking efforts and sacrifices made by its people and political leadership for the cause of democracy,'' read the message of the Indian Lok Sabha Speaker to the Nepalese Parliament yesterday.

''We hope the discussions of the CA will be inspired by their sacrifice and reflect the spirit of the cooperation and political consensus that lie at the heart of all democracies,'' Mr Chatterjee said in the message read out by the Chairman of the meeting KB Gurung.

''The CA elections fully represent Nepal's cultural and social diversity and the progress the country has made in institutionalising peace and democracy. They are an example for aspiring democracies across the world,'' he added.

Meanwhile UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon congratulated the Nepali people on the historic first meeting of the CA that has transformed Nepal into a federal democratic republic.

''The people of Nepal have clearly spoken for peace and change through the April 10 Assembly election,'' he said in a statement.

The Secretary-General urged all parties to continue working in a cooperative manner and to form a new government as soon as possible.

Similarly, his special representative to Nepal Ian Martin also congratulated the people of Nepal on the achievement of convening the historic Constituent Assembly.

''The United Nations is proud to have assisted in the election of the most inclusive body Nepal has yet known,'' he said.

''Its democratically-elected representatives have the solemn responsibility to prepare a new constitution as well as to act as an interim legislature during this next important phase of Nepal's peace process, and to fulfil the people's aspirations for sustained peace, economic and social progress, democracy and human rights,'' he added.

However, the US government has said that it will continue to watch the change.

''There's been a political transition. There have been elections.

The new government is in place and moving forward. We have had some conversations with those officials, in part to verify that some of the efforts that we can make, in terms of being able to provide humanitarian assistance and other programmes, are going to be able to move forward,'' State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said.

He further said, ''Certainly, it's a situation we continue to watch. And we continue to urge forward political developments in that country.'' Nepal declared the abolition of monarchy with absolute majority of 560 votes and only 4 votes against.

UNI XC SZ PK 1344

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