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Nepal Mission Head Expresses Optimism on Peace

Head of UN Mission to Nepal Expresses Optimism on Peace Negotiations

New York, Aug 1 2006 6:00PM

The leader of a high-level United Nations delegation visiting Nepal to explore possible UN assistance to that country’s peace process today said he was hopeful that the Nepalese Government and the nation’s Communist party could reach an agreement on arms management in the coming days.

Staffan de Mistura told reporters that he was “confident” and “optimistic” that a common understanding could be achieved before the mission returns to New York on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the delegation continued its intensive consultations and also travelled outside of the capital Kathmandu for the first time, enabling the team to gain a fuller understanding of the situation on the ground.

The mission includes staff with expertise in peace processes in other countries around the world, and across a range of disciplines. Last week delegates met with Communist Party leaders, as well as Nepalese Government ministers and senior figures from the country’s military.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said recent developments in the Himalayan kingdom provide an “unprecedented opportunity” to achieve a negotiated solution to the 10 years of conflict between the Government and the Communists.

ENDS

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