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UN Envoy Meets Nepal's Prime Minister


A top United Nations official has met with Nepalese Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala for talks on helping the new interim government build on a recently-declared ceasefire with Maoist rebels.

Tamrat Samuel, a senior adviser at the U.N. Department for Political Affairs, held talks today (Tuesday) with Mr. Koirala at his residence in Kathmandu. Details of the meeting were not available.

Earlier, Samuel offered U.N. assistance in helping the country's transition back to democracy.

His visit comes as Nepal's Maoist rebels say they want to begin peace talks with the new government as soon as possible.

The decade-old communist insurgency has killed 13-thousand people. Nepalese governments have made two previous attempts to reach a peace deal with the rebels, but both efforts failed.

King Gyanendra reinstated parliament and gave up absolute power last month after a 19-day pro-democracy strike. Twenty-one people were killed during the riots.

The king first seized absolute power in February, 2005, after blaming politicians for failing to stop the Maoist insurgency.

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