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Nepal's Political Parties to Talk to Maoists about Anti-King Front

Nepal's main political parties say they are ready to hold talks with Maoists on forming a broad front against King Gyanendra, provided the rebels stop killing civilians.

A member of the main Nepali Congress party told reporters the parties will set up a team for talks with the rebels. But, he said, no date has been fixed. He said human rights groups and activists would be asked to monitor whether the rebels had ended their attacks on civilians before any dialogue is held.

The decision by the seven parties came after Maoist leader Prachanda last month agreed to key conditions set by them. Prachanda promised that the rebels would stop extortion and also targeting unarmed civilians.

There has been no reaction by the royalist government, which describes the rebels as terrorists.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.