Nepal Maoists in talks with US to remove terrorist tag
A top Maoist leader says talks are underway with US officials for removing the "terrorist tag" which the Maoists got during their decade-long civil war.world Updated: Apr 19, 2008 20:06 IST
Emboldened by a spectacular showing in Nepal's landmark elections, the Maoists, who are set to head a new government, want the US not to brand the former rebels as terrorists any more.
A top Maoist leader said talks are underway with US officials for removing the "terrorist tag" which the Maoists got during their decade-long civil war.
"We are trying to establish close links with the US...Talks are going on in several fronts in this regard," said CP Gajurel, a central committee member of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist.
"We are requesting them (United States) to remove the terrorist tag that they have put for our party...Our doors are always open to all US officials if they want to talk to us," Gajurel, who is also chief of the international bureau of the party, was quoted as saying by the TelegraphNepal online on Saturday.
Speaking at an interaction programme in the capital yesterday, Gajurel said the US may feel embarrassed in sticking to the "terrorist tag" for the Maoists.
Former US president Jimmy Carter, who was in Nepal to monitor the constituent assembly election on April 10, had said the results indicated a major transition for the Himalayan state.
"If the Maoists do gain a substantial share of power I hope the United States will recognise and do business with the government," Carter had said.
He stressed that the Maoists have changed their behaviour by resorting to peaceful democratic process. Carter hoped the American government will reconsider its "terrorist tag" on the Maoists as they have joined the democratic process.