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Centre rules out role for Dutch NGO in talks with NSCN-IM
March 05, 2007 12:07 IST
In the wake of overtures from the NSCN-IM that Kreddha and its Dutch "executive president" Michael van Walt van Praag be given some sort of formal role in the talks, the government made it clear that the rebel group was free to consult the NGO but it could not have a role in the discussions, sources in the Union home ministry told PTI.
"The talks with the NSCN-IM will be a bilateral affair, just as they have been since the group agreed to a ceasefire in 1997," a source told PTI.
Van Praag had arrived in New Delhi last week after visiting Nagaland amidst speculation that he might be roped in for parleys held on Saturday between the NSCN-IM and a government team led by Union Minister of State Oscar Fernandes.
During the talks, the two sides discussed political issues and agreed to hold another round of discussions in the last week of this month.
NSCN-IM leaders have recently claimed that Kreddha and van Praag were playing a key role as mediators in its talks with the Centre.
During 1991-98, van Praag served as general secretary of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation, another NGO which lobbied for the NSCN-IM at various forums. Kreddha describes itself on its website as an "international peace council for states, peoples and minorities" led by "eminent persons" from across the world.