[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2005, 07:04 GMT
'Bridge Nepal political divide'
Police counter a protest on 1 May in Kathmandu
Nepal is wracked by protests against King Gyanendra
America has urged Nepal's king and mainstream political parties to unite to end the country's political crisis.

US ambassador to Nepal James Moriarty says that failure to do so could result in victory for the Maoist rebels.

Mr Moriarty told the BBC that the king and the parties must demonstrate statesmanship instead of humiliating and pointing fingers at each other.

His remarks come amid a deepening political feud after the king seized direct control of Nepal last month.

Ambassador Moriarty met King Gyanendra last week after returning from consultations in Washington.

He said that an agreement between the king and the parties on a multi-party government comprising of major parties could help resolve the crisis, although he said that it is up to the Nepalese themselves to make a final decision.

The US has been coordinating closely with the UK and Nepal's neighbour, India, in attempting to bring the king and the parties together.

King Gyanendra
The king seized direct power on 1 February
The three countries are the major suppliers of military assistance to the Nepalese army in the fight against the Maoist rebels who want to set up a communist state.

The UK and India have suspended the assistance in protest at the royal takeover.

The US has also warned that its assistance could be stopped if the king did not restore civil liberties, press freedom and release detained leaders and activists

'Ready to talk'

In a separate development, two top opposition leaders, currently in detention, have been quoted as saying that they are ready to hold a dialogue with the king if lifts a state of emergency.

Former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) general secretary, Madhav Kumar Nepal, have said that they are ready for talks if restrictions on civil liberty and media were lifted.

The comments are said to have been made to members of a leading Kathmandu-based human rights organisation who were allowed to meet the detained leaders. Both leaders were placed under house arrest right after the royal takeover.

Both leaders are said to be healthy but complained they have access only to government-owned newspapers.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific