A high-level United Nations team visiting Nepal to explore UN support for the country’s peace process today met senior leaders from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and welcomed news that they will extend their ceasefire for another three months.
After the meeting, held in the capital Kathmandu, the UN mission’s leader Staffan de Mistura told reporters that “we hope it [the ceasefire] will be extended for even a much longer time than that… [but this] will certainly be conducive to making the process of peace a better one.”
Mr. de Mistura added that the talks had allowed the UN officials “to clarify in our own minds what were their concerns and also their way of looking at the peace process.”
The UN delegation also met Nepalese Government ministers and officials, as well as senior figures from the country’s military. Scheduled to be in Nepal until next Thursday, the mission includes staff with expertise in peace processes in other countries around the world, and across a range of disciplines.
The visit comes a week after Secretary-General Kofi Annan 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.