Nepal peace talks 'cordial'
Nepal’s Government and the Maoist rebels have spoken positively of their first formal peace talks since a ceasefire was announced in January. At a joint news conference after five hours of talks in the capital Kathmandu both sides described the atmosphere as “cordial” – but even so disagreements were evident. The Maoist campaign for a communist republic in Nepal has claimed nearly 8,000 lives since 1996. The Maoists presented a list of demands at the talks, including the release of jailed rebel supporters, a roundtable conference, an interim government and a constituent assembly. They also insisted on a deadline for reaching a peace agreement – but the government demurred, saying the process was too complicated and could not be rushed. The two sides are to meet again at a date to be agreed later. Full Story