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Despite Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's recent visit to the US and the United Kingdom to garner support to fight the Maoist terrorists, the kind of support Nepal will receive-in terms of the weapons, as well as development assistance-will only be clear after international donor agencies and well-wishers meet on 19 and 20 June (in London).

It isn't yet clear either what support will be provided by the UK, at whose initiative the meeting is being held. However, there is an indication that donors such as the UK, France, the US, Japan, Germany, India, and China will support Nepal with modern weaponry, other arms, military training, as well as development aid. Nepal has never fought terrorists, so countries like India and the US sent their army personnel here (for assessments). The donors haven't decided who will provide what and how much. Possibly, this will be sorted out at London. Prakash Sharan Mahat, advisor to Prime Minister Deuba and member of his US, UK entourage, says the prime minister's visits were positive. US Foreign Secretary Colin Powell and National Defence Advisor Condoleezza Rice, were both present during the prime minister's meeting with President George W Bush, an indication of the importance the US is currently giving to security in Nepal.

At a time when the Maoists are increasing attacks on physical infrastructure, making it difficult to evaluate how donors' money and other assistance is being used, analysts feel it would be appropriate to bring the Maoists around to a peaceful solution. The US has said it will provide $40 million annually and also provide weapons and military training. Although the UK hasn't yet committed publicly to any particular amount, the focus of its assistance will probably be arms, training, and security equipment.

A government source says that Prime Minister Deuba will soon be visiting China, Russia, Japan, and also some European countries for more international support for fighting the Maoists.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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