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Nepal's Government, Rebels Discuss New Constitution


Nepal's government and Maoist rebels have started new talks to finalize a temporary constitution - a crucial step in the ongoing peace process between the two sides.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and his coalition partners met Wednesday with Maoist rebel leader Prachanda and his deputy Baburam Bhattarai at the prime minister's residence in Kathmandu.

Details of the talks were not released, but reports from Kathmandu say the aim was to patch up their differences on Nepal's political future.

The peace deal calls for an interim constitution until next year's election for a special assembly that would create a new constitution and decide Nepal's political system.

The assembly also would determine the future of King Gyanendra.

The king was forced by violent street protests to relinquish his absolute powers and reinstate multi-party democracy in April.

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

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