To­wards good work­ing re­la­tion­ship

Southasia - - Briefing -

The U.S. has pledged to work with Nepal’s newly-elected Prime Min­is­ter Babu­ram Bhat­tarai but has also ex­pressed its con­cern about Maoists. U.S. State Depart­ment has stated that Nepal’s Maoists need to do more to be re­moved from the black­list.

In the mean­time, the Com­mu­nist Party of NepalMaoist would re­main on the list of ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions whose mem­bers are barred from travel to the US. “While the party has taken some pos­i­tive steps, we con­tinue to have ar­eas of con­cern which must be ad­dressed be­fore the party could be de-listed,” State Depart­ment spokes­woman Vic­to­ria Nu­land said.

The Maoists have long sought the re­moval of the des­ig­na­tion. Nu­land dis­missed sug­ges­tions that the list­ing would com­pli­cate U.S. ties, say­ing, “We are hope­ful that we will be able to have a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship.”

U.S. diplo­mats in the past have urged the Maoists to re­nounce defini­tively the use of vi­o­lence as a po­lit­i­cal in­stru­ment. The Maoists are on the U.S. Ter­ror­ism Ex­clu­sion

List but not the tougher For­eign Ter­ror­ist Or­ga­ni­za­tion List, which would make it a crime to pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port to the group.

Maoist rebels waged a bloody con­flict that left 16,000 dead be­fore turn­ing to main­stream pol­i­tics and win­ning elec­tions in 2008. The Maoists were blamed for a 2004 at­tack on the Amer­i­can Cen­ter in Kath­mandu. Ear­lier last month, Babu­ram Bhat­tarai, a se­nior leader of the former rebels whose in­sur­gency helped top­ple the monar­chy, was se­lected as prime min­is­ter in a new bid to end a pro­longed po­lit­i­cal dead­lock in the Hi­malayan na­tion.

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