|05KATHMANDU1353||2005-06-21 12:19:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Kathmandu|
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 001353
1. (C) Charge found former Nepalese PM and current leader of
the seven party alliance 80-year-old GP Koirala fit and spry
when calling on him at his residence on June 21 after his
return from a "medical" trip to India. Koirala said that
there was an important role for the international community
to play, noting that he distrusted both the King and the
Maoists. Koirala said that recent overtures to the Maoists
were both a test to gauge the true nature of the Maoist
commitment to dialogue and a means to pressure the King.
Charge cautioned that such an approach was dangerous and
pressed for dialogue between the parties and the palace.
2. (C) Koirala stated he had the opportunity to meet with GOI
officials and politicians in India (reftel) to discuss the
role of the international community in Nepal. He had noted
that Maoists are not only a Nepali problem, and urged India
to take initiative with the international community to work
toward a political solution. Koirala suggested a third party
facilitator or mediator, such as the UN, would be necessary
to bring all the parties together.
3. (C) Koirala mentioned he told the Indians that while it
was their decision on how to supply arms to Nepal, he hoped
they would consider if their actions would encourage and
support democracy or autocracy. Koirala expressed the view
that while the Maoists and the RNA had arms, the parties did
not and could not defend themselves if attacked by either
group. The Charge expressed concern about describing the
Maoists and the RNA as equals, noting the RNA's raison d'tre
is largely to defend against the insurgency.
Parties Testing the Maoists
4. (C) Koirala said that he wanted to test the Maoists, so he
sent a message to them. While they responded that they were
flexible and had expressed interest in a face to face
meeting, Koirala noted that this might be positive only on
the surface. Only time would tell their true intentions. He
admitted that the parties were also using their dialogue with
the Maoists to pressure the King. The Charge said that such
an approach was dangerous -- the Maoists were trying to
deepen the divide between the parties and the palace. It was
hard to understand any approach which provided the insurgents
with legitimacy less than two weeks after their most deadly
attack on civilians.
Parties Distrustful of the King
5. (C) Koirala said that there has been no recent
communication between the seven parties and the King. The
parties would wait and see if and how the King reached out to
the parties once he returns to Nepal on June 22. The Charge
offered the idea of using the proposed municipal elections as
an opportunity to work toward democracy. Koirala
acknowledged that they had discussed various options, but he
reiterated the parties stand against municipal elections
stating that participation would "legitimize all
unconstitutional acts by the King." Koirala noted that the
King had deceived the people of Nepal before by calling for
multiparty elections and he could do so again. The Charge
noted that the international community's eyes were on Nepal
and so the current situation was different.
6. Koirala noted that now the parties were waiting to see
what both the King and the Maoists do. The King had to create
the conditions for dialogue, and the Maoists had to show by
their actions if they were sincere. Koirala mentioned that
his party's convention would be in August and at that time
the NC's policy would be clearly formulated.
7. (C) Post found Koirala's distrust of the Maoists
reassuring, but we are still concerned that the gambit may
backfire with disastrous consequences. We continue to push
for dialogue between the seven parties and the King, and urge
the parties not to legitimize the Maoists before they give up
arms and renounce terrorism.