Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 21st February 2005.

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Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the reign of King Gyanendra of Nepal since his coronation in 2001; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Trade) (also Department of Trade and Industry), Minister of State (Department of Trade and Industry) (Trade) (also Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

King Gyanendra of Nepal assumed the throne under difficult circumstances, following the massacre of King Birendra and members of the royal family in 2001. During King Gyanendra's reign the conflict with the Maoists has escalated while the security and human rights situations have deteriorated considerably. While we have welcomed the King's stated commitment to multi-party democracy and peace, the shared failure of the King and the political parties to work together to find a common way forward on tackling Nepal's problems has been disappointing. We are deeply concerned by the King's assumption of power on 1 February, which will increase the risk of instability in Nepal and undermine the institutions of democracy and constitutional monarchy in the country.

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