Towards good working relationship
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.