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Dr Karan Singh to visit Nepal as PM's Special Envoy, meet King

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 18 (UNI) Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Dr Karan Singh will visit Nepal as the Special Envoy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from tomorrow to assess the situation there and have talks with Nepalese King Gyanendra.

Dr Karan Singh, formerly Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir who has ancestral links with the Nepalese Royals, will meet King Gyanendra to pursuade him to initiate a dialogue with political parties in the Himalayan kingdom.

He will also meet political party leaders and discuss the situation there, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said here today.

Although Mr Sarna did not have details whether Dr Karan Singh would be carrying a message from the Indian government, Dr Karan Singh told reporters at his residence that he would ''review the fast-deteriorating situation'' (in Nepal) and report back to the Prime Minister.

''I don't have the details of the message the Special Envoy will be carrying,'' the spokesman said.

Asked whether Dr Karan Singh would be joined by Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, the spokesman said ''the Foreign Secretary is expected to join Dr Singh.'' The Foreign Secretary left here early this morning for Bhutan where he will meet King Jigme Singhe Wangchuk and other members of the Bhutan government as part of the regular Indo-Bhutan political dialogue.

In reply to a question, the spokesman said India was concerned at the current political and economic situation in Nepal and there was need for a genuine dialogue between the constitutional forces.

The solution, he said, would have to be found by the people of Nepal themselves and India would be ready to support any political process. India has been monitoring the process very closely, he added.

India supported a peaceful political settlement and it was upto the people of Nepal to find a solution to their problems.

India's role at this stage was to facilitate a lasting solution, he said.

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