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March date for Nepal peace talks

Kathmandu, Feb. 26 (Reuters): The Nepal government and Maoist rebels will begin formal talks in the second week of March aimed at ending the seven-year revolt against the constitutional monarchy, a senior minister said today.

Physical planning and works minister Narayan Singh Pun said the meeting would prepare for another round of talks, which would include key political parties and representatives of civil society as demanded by the rebels. “The first formal meeting will be held by the second week of March,” Pun, government negotiator for talks, told reporters.

In a statement issued late yesterday, Maoist leader Prachanda accused the government of not taking any concrete steps in favour of talks since the ceasefire. The government and the Maoists agreed to an indefinite ceasefire on January 29, edging towards talks aimed at ending the revolt.

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