-India, China, US laud Chief Justice govt deal-

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-India, China, US laud Chief Justice govt deal-

 KATHMANDU, MAR 14 - 
Countries, including India, China and the US, on Thursday welcomed the agreement struck by four major political parties to form a chief justice-led election government.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh extended his felicitations to Khil Raj Regmi for being sworn in chairman of the Interim Election Government. He also conveyed best wishes of the government and the people of India as Regmi prepares to undertake the ‘critical task.’ “The Prime Minister of India has reiterated that India remains steadfast in its support to the people of Nepal in their efforts to build a stable, democratic and prosperous Nepal,” said a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
“We commend the people of Nepal and the political parties representing them for finding a way out of the impasse of the past few months,” Singh said. “The formation of the Interim Election Government in Nepal comes at a critical juncture in Nepal’s quest to hold Constituent Assembly-cum-Parliament Elections, which is essential to consolidate the democratic gains made by its people and instiutionalise a strong multiparty democracy in Nepal.”
India’s Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid also congratulated Madhav Prasad Ghimire on his appointment as Minister for Home and Foreign Affairs in the Interim government. In a statement, Khurshid recalled that India and Nepal enjoy a close and unique relationship and said that he looks forward to working closely with Ghimire to widen and deepen ties between the two countries. 
In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, “The Chinese side welcomes that the major political parties of Nepal struck a deal on promoting the Constitution-drafting process and forming the Interim Election Council. As a friendly neighbor, we sincerely hope that the political forces of Nepal could continue to seek political consensus through dialogue and consultation, complete the peace and constitution-drafting processes at the earliest, and lead the country to realize political stability and economic development.” In a statement, the US congratulated the people of Nepal. “This has been a complex and challenging process and we commend the parties for their willingness to make the compromises necessary to achieve this important political milestone,” said a US Embassy statement. 
“The formation of the Interim Council of Ministers for Elections lays a foundation for vital further action, including completing and adopting Nepal’s new constitution and holding free, fair, and inclusive national elections in June that reflect the will of the Nepali people. As in the past, the United States stands ready to assist Nepal as these national elections approach.”
The statement said that as political leaders continue to work on political and governance issues, the US welcomes further progress by the parties that will continue to safeguard the rights of all citizens and reaffirm the national commitment to building a democratic, representative, and prosperous Nepal.

UK stresses free, fair polls
The United Kingdom also welcomed the accord to form an election government. UK’s Minister for South Asia, Hugo Swire MP, said, “It is good to see real progress on the road to an enduring democracy in Nepal and I strongly welcome the creation of an interim election council to oversee Nepal’s elections,” he said in a statement issued by the British Embassy in Kathmandu.
Stating free, fair, safe and credible elections are vital in giving a renewed mandate to Nepal’s political leaders to complete the peace process and create the foundations for lasting stability and prosperity, the minister said, “I urge all political forces in Nepal to support the Interim Election Council and Election Commission in their challenging task between now and elections. As a longstanding friend of Nepal, the UK will support in any way we can.”

Switzerland congratulates Regmi
The Embassy of Switzerland in Kathmandu congratulated Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi on being appointed chairman of the interim government. “Switzerland encourages constructive dialogue and the inclusion of the other political parties and interest groups, to ensure a peaceful and successful preparatory phase and the holding of free and fair elections,” it said in a statement.

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