World Bank `strong partner` of Nepal in transition

Nepali Congress has stepped up pressure on the PM Baburam Bhattarai to conclude the peace process.

Kathmandu: The World Bank has said it will
remain a strong partner of Nepal in its transition to peace
and stability, as it underlined the need for consensus among
the political parties to put the country on a path of high
economic growth and development.

"The World Bank will remain a firm partner to Nepal in
the transition to peace and stability," said Ellen Goldstein,
the World Bank’s Country Director for Nepal and Bhutan after
meeting senior government officials and leaders of major
political parties in the capital.

She said the present situation is an unparalleled
opportunity for Nepalis across the political spectrum to
cement the peace in a spirit of compromise and to put the
country on a path of high economic growth and development.

She arrived here to consult with the new government,
political leaders and senior government officials on the World
Bank’s country strategy for Nepal for 2012-2013.

The Bank’s Board of Executive Directors is scheduled to
discuss the new strategy on September 15.

She met Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun and discussed the
economic and development priorities of the new coalition
government, according to a World Bank press release.

She also held discussion with Nepali Congress president
Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML chairman and former Prime Minister
Jhala Nath Khanal and Constituent Assembly members.

The country has faced political instability and
deadlock since the 2008 election to the parliament, delaying
the peace process and drafting of the constitution.

Nepal`s main opposition Nepali Congress has stepped up
pressure on the new Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to
conclude the peace process, particularly issues related to the
rehabilitation and integration of the former Maoist fighters
housed in various cantonments in the country.

Nepali Congress has rejected a proposal by the new Prime
Minister Bhattarai to join the ruling coalition amid a row
over the peace process.

One of the key sticking points in the peace plan has
been the proposed integration of 19,000 former Maoist rebel
fighters into the army, with military leaders and the Nepali
Congress resisting the move.

The election of 57-year-old JNU-educated Bhattarai as
the new Prime Minister on August 28 came after weeks of
political wrangling among the major parties in the country.


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