Meeting with CK Raut apolitical, insist European ambassadors

KATHMANDU, FEB 02 – Heads of eight Kathmandu-based European missions met Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Monday where they conveyed that their meeting with Madhes-based activist CK Raut should not be interpreted as an endorsement of, or agreement with, Raut’s political agenda or action.

The meeting took place at the request of the European ambassadors and was a follow-up to their similar visit to Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey last week.

The international community is keen to draw the government’s attention that

it should not mix up its position on the constitution with that on Raut.

“We have taken a consistent view on the constitution as emphasised by UN Under Secretary Geoffrey Feltmen that the new constitution should be inclusive and supported by major stakeholders and should have a broad acceptance from the Nepali people,” said a diplomatic source. “CK Raut’s is a separate issue.”

The courtesy call on Prime Minister Koirala on Monday was primarily aimed at drawing a line between these two separate issues. The international community at large seems keen to distance itself from the move by a couple of European ambassadors who have met Raut recently.

“They paid a call on the PM to learn about the progress made in constitution drafting,” said a PMO official. Koirala stressed that all the parties should stay within the CA process, he added.

“You have a long experience of democracy in Europe. Voting is a democratic practice. Though we are talking about process and vote, we have not abandoned consensus and dialogue among the parties,” the official quoted the PM as telling the diplomats.

According to Dinesh Bhattarai, foreign relations adviser to PM Koirala, the EU ambassadors reiterated their support and cooperation to Nepal’s ongoing peace process and appreciated the move taken by the PM to reach out to the opposition parties.

After the meeting, when asked whether the PM raised the issue of the meeting between some EU ambassadors and Raut, head of the EU Delegation to Nepal Rensje Teerink said, “We never asked to meet him. He asked to see us, not as a separatist but as a person whose human rights are violated, apparently. Now we also realise that the timing was not very good because it has created unnecessary attention and rumours.”

Ambassador and the head of the EU delegation and envoys from the UK, Denmark, Germany, France, Finland, Norway and Switzerland were present at the meeting.

Posted on: 2015-02-03 09:1,