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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 April, 2004, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
'No delay' to Nepal donors meeting
By Sushil Sharma
BBC correspondent in Kathmandu

Protesters in Kathmandu
The protesters want the king to reinstate parliament
Nepalese authorities have said that a crucial meeting of international donors will be held on schedule despite a boycott threat by major opposition parties.

The parties, which have been engaged in long-running protests against King Gyanendra, had demanded that the meeting be postponed until the political crisis was resolved.

Next week's meeting is considered crucial for Nepal because foreign aid accounts for more than half of the country's annual budget.

The donors want to use the opportunity to discuss Nepal's aid needs with senior government officials, major political parties, non-government organisations and experts.

Reconciliation unlikely

Finance Minister Prakash Chandra Lohani has ruled out a postponement of the meeting due to be held in Kathmandu next week.

Most donor representatives have said that they would attend the meeting - although some are thought to favour a postponement to allow the king and the political parties to sort out their differences.

But such a reconciliation appears unlikely.

This is the first time that major parties have decided to abstain from a donors meeting.

They have been questioning the legitimacy of the present government installed by King Gyanendra in 2002.

Since then, the parties have been engaged in anti-monarchy protests, which have escalated in recent weeks.

Opposition leaders want the king to reinstate the legislature, which he suspended in 2002.

The parties' move to boycott the donors' meeting is apparently aimed at stepping up pressure on the king.

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