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United States Welcomes Lifting of State of Emergency in Nepal

03 May 2005

State Department urges Nepal's king to reinstate democratic process

The United States welcomed the decision by Nepal’s King Gyanendra to lift the state of emergency in his country April 29 and release several political leaders from house arrest, but a May 3 statement from the State Department called on the government to take further steps -- releasing all of its political detainees, protecting basic citizen rights and reinstating a democratic political process.

King Gyanendra declared a state of emergency in Nepal and dissolved the government February 1.  At the same time, he detained several political leaders.  The United States has repeatedly called upon Gyanendra to open a dialogue with Nepal’s legitimate political actors in order to stabilize the country’s security situation, which has deteriorated in recent years due to a Maoist insurgency.

Following is the answer to a question taken at the May 3 State Department briefing:

(begin excerpt)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
May 3, 2005

QUESTION TAKEN AT MAY 3, 2005 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

Nepal - Lifting of State of Emergency

Question:  Can you give us an update on the situation in Nepal?  What is your reaction to the decision of the King to lift the state of emergency?

Answer:  The United States welcomes the Government of Nepal's decision to lift the State of Emergency on April 29, and its decision to release several political party leaders from house arrest.  However, more needs to be done.  We urge the government to release all political detainees and to ensure the protection of fundamental rights in Nepal.  Ultimately, Nepal needs to return to an electoral democracy.

We also encourage the political parties and the Palace to move towards reconciliation.   Unity among Nepal's legitimate political forces is a necessary step for Nepal to achieve a functioning, stable democracy, and effectively address the Maoist insurgency.

The United States will continue to support progress in these efforts as we consult closely with other friends of Nepal.

(end excerpt)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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