Jimmy Carter Came, Talked, Smiled and Went (Thanks Mr President!)

Here is the statement by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made on June 16, last of his four-day trip to Nepal

I’m happy to be back in Nepal and to be briefed by The Carter Center’s long-term observers, political leaders, marginalized groups, and election officials here. I admire deeply what’s been accomplished by the people of this great country over the past year. The Carter Center is here to support you in any way that we can, and to that end our long-term observers have been deployed since March visiting over 70 districts to learn about the electoral and political environment.

Constituent Assembly election

Nepal is in the midst of a historic transformation and this difficult process requires shared commitment from the government, civil society, marginalized groups, and most importantly the public. The country has set itself the essential goal of holding a constituent assembly election, and I support the significant progress toward that objective that has been made during my short time here. I urge the government to swiftly complete all necessary electoral preparations in order to hold an election in the month of Mangsir (November/December), including announcing a date and resolving any outstanding issues such as the electoral constituencies. Compromise will be necessary to avoid conflict during this period.

Carter in Press Conference (Saturday)

My opinion is the United States should establish some communication with the Maoists because it is obvious that the people of Nepal have accepted the Maoists as playing a role in the shaping of the future of this country. I think the United States’ beneficial influence here will be increased if they can talk freely to all the parties involved. Maoists have complied with UN requirements, disarmed to some degree and adopted the principle of multi-party democracy. I hope there will be a time in the future when the United States can have free communication with all the important political players who will shape the future of Nepal.

When asked whether he is going to take some initiative to make the US government lift the terrorist tag, Carter said he doesn’t have any authority at all but he would send a report to the White House and the State Department. He didn’t use the words “lifting”, “terrorists” or “tags” but emphasized more than once that the US government should establish contacts with all parties that have been in the political framework legally.

Carter refuted the claim made by Dr. Baburam Bhattarai the other day after meeting the former president that he told the Maoist leaders not to listen to the US ambassador in Nepal.

Additionally, I would like to highlight two areas which I believe deserve increased focus in order to allow for an honest and credible election and future progress towards peace and reconciliation: Continue reading Jimmy Carter Came, Talked, Smiled and Went (Thanks Mr President!)