wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02KATHMANDU1314
2002-07-05 11:23:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

INDIA VISIT EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS, NEPAL'S KING

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  PTER  PINR  NP  IN 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 001314 

SIPDIS

LONDON FOR POL/RIEDEL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/04/2012
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PINR NP IN
SUBJECT: INDIA VISIT EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS, NEPAL'S KING
SAYS

REF: KATHMANDU 1216

Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Malinowski, Reasons 1.5(b),(d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 001314

SIPDIS

LONDON FOR POL/RIEDEL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/04/2012
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PINR NP IN
SUBJECT: INDIA VISIT EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS, NEPAL'S KING
SAYS

REF: KATHMANDU 1216

Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Malinowski, Reasons 1.5(b),(d)


1. (C) Summary. King Gyanendra's week-long visit to India in
late June "exceeded his expectations," a businessman close to
Nepal's monarch told the Ambassador July 3. In New Delhi the
King received assurances of Indian support conditioned on the
maintenance of Nepal's constitutional monarchy and
multi-party system. Gyanendra pledged to protect both, and
adduced his assent to the Nepali Prime Minister's request to
dissolve Parliament as evidence of his commitment to the
constitutional system. The King reportedly pressed Home
Minister Advani to take more decisive action against Maoists
operating in India and to share information on terrorists
reportedly operating in Nepal. Third-country security
assistance to Nepal was not an issue in the King's meetings,
and in fact Defense Minister Fernandes extended an offer to
help fill gaps in foreign assistance. Our interlocutor also
reviewed meetings with opposition leader Sonia Gandhi and
former PM Chandrasekhar. The King travels to China July
9-15. End Summary.

India Trip Exceeds Monarch's Expectations
--------------


2. (C) Nepal's King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah reported that
his June 23-28 visit to India "exceeded his expectations in
virtually all respects," a Nepali businessman with extremely
close ties to the monarch told Ambassador and DCM July 3.
Prabhakar Rana (strongly protect) said the King had asked him
the night before to relate to the Ambassador his assessment
of his trip to India, his first foriegn visit since his
accession to the throne in June 2001. Echoing a Royal Palace
press notice issued just before the King's departure for New
Delhi, Rana labeled the themes of the visit as "continuation"
and "consolidation" (Reftel). The King felt press coverage
of the trip had been "generally good," Rana added.

India Conditions Support on Continuation of Democracy
-------------- --------------



3. (C) In India the King used every opportunity to brief his
interlocutors on both the security situation in Nepal and
what Rana termed "the big political mess in Kathmandu." The
Indians--including PM Vajpayee--made it clear that India
would support any and all measures to deal with the
insurgency as long as two elements remained: the
constitutional monarchy and a multi-party system. Gyanendra
replied that both he and his late brother King Birendra saw
themselves as protectors of the constitutional system, and he
offered assurances that the multi-party system was here to
stay.

King Commits to Constitutional Role
--------------


4. (C) PM Vajpayee reportedly asked the King during their
private meeting why he had agreed to Nepal's Prime Minister
Deuba's request to dissolve Parliament. Gyanendra replied
that his role as constitutional monarch gave him no choice
but to go along. The only alternative would be to change
Nepal's political system. Rana did not know whether in India
the King had addressed the possibility of his having to
intervene politically should elections fail to take place in
November, sparking a constitutional crisis. (Note: The DCM
related to Rana the concerns of some Nepali politicians that
if elections failed to take place and the King had to step
in, forces in the palace would press for scrapping the
multi-party system and restoring a Panchayat-style regime
like that which ruled Nepal during 1960-1990. Rana admitted
that some in the palace might hold such views, but insisted
that those individuals do not have political standing. He
was categorical that there was no possibility of abrogating
the party system and going back to something else. End Note.)


5. (C) Vajpayee had agreed that Nepal's palace would maintain
close relations with the PM's office in New Delhi, and
expressed no opposition to the King also developing direct
relations with the Indian Home Minister.

King Presses Home Minister Advani
--------------


6. (C) In a meeting with Home Minister Advani, the King
reiterated that Nepal was committed to opposing terrorists of
any stripe, Rana told us. The King had been firm with
Advani, telling him that India's policy on Nepal's Maoists
would have to change, implicitly to one more forthright and
decisive. The King also asked Advani why he had not
consulted with the GON before making public statements
claiming Islamic militant groups were operating in Nepal.
When the King asked whether India had passed information
about the groups to Kathmandu, Advani replied that thought so
but would check. The King added that if India provides solid
information about such activity, Nepal would take action.
Advani expressed his agreement to maintaining direct links
between his ministry and Nepal's Royal Palace.

Third-Country Security Aid to Nepal Not at Issue
-------------- ---


7. (C) Rana was not aware of India expressing concerns to the
King about U.S. or other outside security assistance coming
into Nepal. He knew of only one occasion when the recent
London meeting on aid to Nepal was mentioned: the King's
meeting with Defense Minister Fernandes. Fernandes had not
expressed concern about third-country military assistance.
On the contrary, he offered that India stood ready to fill
gaps in needed security assistance to Nepal, including
short-term shortfalls. The King and Fernandes had discussed
Nepal's specific defense needs in some detail, Rana said.
(Note: Rana indicated that in New Delhi the King had been
briefed on the London conference by Ministry of External
Affairs (MEA) Joint Secretary Meera Shankar. Her briefing
jibed with the one Rana heard from the British Charge in
Kathmandu who had attended the meeting in London, Rana said.
This was evidence, in Rana's view, that the MEA was being
more open and cooperative with the GON than it had been in
the past. End Note.)

Meeting with Opposition Leader
--------------


8. (C) Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi stuck to personal
matters in her meeting on Nepal's King, leaving substantive
issues to her economic advisor and former Finance Minister
Manmohan Singh. (Note: Manmohan Singh's appearance
surprised the Nepalis, who had expected Gandhi's political
advisor, Natwar Singh, to join her as their substantive
interlocutor. End Note.) The King briefed the Congress
Party leader on the security and domestic political
situations in Nepal. Gandhi agreed that the King would keep
up direct contact with the party through Manmohan Singh.

Chandrasekhar
--------------


9. (C) Former PM Chandrasekhar--who has close ties to Nepal's
former PM Girija Prasad Koirala--paid a call on King
Gyanendra in New Delhi. The King anticipated that the
leftish former PM would criticize the continued campaign
against the Maoists, so he preempted the line of questioning
by first asking how India could allow the Nepali Congress
Party (NCP) to split. Chandrasekhar replied that he no
longer has the influence with the NCP that he once had. The
King pressed Chandrasekhar for help in marshalling assistance
to counter Nepal's Maoists insurgency.

Next Stop: China
--------------


10. (C) King Gyanendra, who departs for China for a six-day
state visit July 9, said he expected his trip there to be
less problematic than his India visit. The King had
considered the trip to India "riskier" because of the
possibility of domestic criticism, as many Nepalis harbor
deep suspicions about their southern neighbor.
MALINOWSKI