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Nepal's Maoist Rebels Describe Meeting With Home Minister as 'Positive'


Nepal's communist rebels say their leader, Prachanda, has held a positive meeting with the country's home affairs minister.

The two-hour meeting Sunday took place in a remote village in western Nepal. It was the first time a Maoist leader has met with a government minister since the two sides declared a ceasefire and started peace talks last month.

Maoist spokesman Krishna Mahara says the rebels and Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula discussed ways of continuing the peace process. The spokesman says they also talked about plans for elections to choose an assembly that will redraft Nepal's constitution.

Differences emerged last month between the two sides after initial talks took place in Kathmandu. The Maoists want Nepal's government to dissolve parliament before constituent assembly elections are held. The government has rejected that demand.

The leaders of Nepal's ruling seven-party alliance agreed to adjourn parliament from Monday to give priority to peace talks with the rebels.

In last month's talks, the rebels and government agreed to a code of conduct and to maintain a ceasefire.

Nepal's insurgency has left more than 13,000 people dead.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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