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PM Bhattarai returns

Sunday, September 25th, 2011
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PRERANA MARASINI in NEW YORK

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PIC: YOPESH PRADHAN

Wrapping up his visit to the United States, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has left for Nepal, terming the visit productive and successful.

“It was successful in sharing our peace process with the international community and getting their affirmation towards it,” said the PM, at a brief press meet (pictured, right) held at the office of the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations on Saturday evening.

On Saturday morning, he spoke at the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations where he appealed to the UN to extend “comprehensive” support to the post-conflict countries like Nepal. His other focus was on the need to support the least developed countries if it is to rise above.

“We need a ‘new Marshall plan’ for rebuilding and reconstruction of the post-conflict countries. Lip-services and symbolic supports are not enough,” he said at the Assembly, speaking as a Prime Minister of a post-conflict country. When later asked at the press meet, he elaborated that there needs to be more financial investment, and that the package should be such that it’s able to help eradicate poverty in order to sustain peace. “In this integrated world, grinding poverty of the masses in billions is a recipe for disaster,” he had said at the assembly.

Critical of negative effects of globalisation, he also said at the general assembly, “The islands of prosperity amidst the sea of poverty are not sustainable.” He even went to the extent that if the differences are not bridged there could be ‘globalisation of unrest and upheavals’.

On the issue of promoting least developed countries, he said, Nepal does not want to see “another missed opportunity for the LDCs.” Among others, PM Bhattarai said that LDCs need support in areas like duty-free, quota-free market access, and technology transfer. At the press meet later, he said his stress on this matter at the assembly would help create pressure to see an impact.

The Prime Minister also met with Indian Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh at the UN General Assembly and would be visiting India in October. He has also received invitation to visit China but the dates have not been fixed yet.

During his visit in the US, PM Bhattarai met with head of states of many countries but he said he focused on meetings with the neighbours.

De-listing from the US watch-list

Although the Maoist party is still listed under the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, Prime Minister Bhattarai said it does not affect the party practically. He informed reporters that he met with Wendy Sherman, political under secretary of the US and discussed about delisting. He said he was informed that there are no problems other than the technical delays in delisting. Politically and otherwise, we are almost out of the list, he asserted.

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