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EU, Aus welcome reinstatement of House in Nepal

Written by: Staff

Kathmandu, Apr 26: The European Union (EU) and Australia have welcomed the King's announcement of reinstatement of the House of Representatives.

The EU in a statement issued here today said ''EU now looks to the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) to exercise responsible leadership in the current tense situation.'' ''In view of the meeting of the House of Representatives announced for 28 April, the EU calls on the leaders of the SPA to further develop and operationalise the road map for democracy and peace,'' the statement added.

''Action is needed without delay to restore peace in the country and to put in place a democratic, accountable government,'' the release added.

''The EU expects all security forces to refrain from the use of force against pro-democracy demonstrations and to be ready to work under a democratic government as soon as one is formed,'' the EU said.

The EU has also asked Maoists to lay down arms and join the mainstream politics immediately. ''The EU continues to urge the transition of the Maoists into the democratic political mainstream, but this process must include the renunciation of violence and the decommissioning of weapons,'' the release further said.

The EU has further stated that it was ready to work with democratic government in the days to come.

Australia also welcomed the new political development in Nepal. ''Australia supports Nepal's return to multiparty democracy and calls on the political parties to cooperate to bring about good governance and effective government services delivered across the country,'' a press statement issued by the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer said today.

Mr Downer has asked the Maoists to cease armed violence, return to mainstream politics and support the rebuilding of peace, democracy and social development in Nepal.

''Australia will continue to monitor developments closely,'' he said in the statement.

Earlier, Norwegian ambassador to Nepal Tore Toreng said, ''Norway will restore normal relations with Nepal provided that Parliament is restored and a new democratic government is established.'' Norwegian Minister for Development Erik Solheim will visit Nepal next week for political consultation, embassy of Norway in Nepal said in a statement.

''The decision of July 2005 to reduce Norway's support to Nepal by 10 per cent has now been reversed. An additional 2.3 million dollars will be made available to make the level of support the same as before the royal takeover of February 1, 2005,'' it said.

If there were continued positive developments, there could be further increases, with a focus on supporting democratic processes, it further added.

The decision not to enter into new agreements with the Government of Nepal stands reversed, Mr Toreng said. An agreement to continue the support to rural electrification through the government's ESAP programme would be negotiated as quickly as possible.

India, US, China and Japan have already welcomed the political development in Nepal and pledged cooperation with the new democratic government.



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