US likely to drop Maoists from terrorist list

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Kathmandu, May 3: US ambassador to Nepal, Nancy Powell, met CPN-M Chairman Prachanda giving him a clear indication that the US was moving toward better ties with the Maoists. This is the first meeting of Ms Powell with the Maoist leadership a press statement issued by the US embassy yesterday said. The meeting was held to discuss the result of the Constituent Assembly election.

According to a Maoist source, Mr Prachanda during the meeting suggested the US government should remove the Maoists from its terrorist list. "Ms Powell gave an assurance to Mr Prachanda and said the act of removing the Maoists from the US terrorist list is delayed due to bureaucratic process," the source said. The Maoist chairman, accompanied by senior leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai, told Ms Powell that the Maoists want to maintain good relations with the US.

During the meeting, Ms Powell encouraged Mr Prachanda to ensure that all Maoist organisations illustrate their commitment to the political process through their words and actions. Ms Powell also provided Mr Prachanda an overview of current US government assistance to this country, designed to help create a more prosperous, democratic and stable Nepal.

The US placed the CPN-M in its Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entities list in October 2003 through an executive order signed by President George W. Bush.

UNI

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