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US may lift ‘terror tag’ on Maoists

US ambassador to Nepal, Nancy Powell, says the US may soon remove Nepal’s Maoists from its terrorist list, reports Anirban Roy.

world Updated: Apr 21, 2008 23:12 IST
Anirban Roy

The US may soon remove Nepal’s Maoists from its terrorist list, the US ambassador to Nepal, Nancy Powell, has said.

Powell told Subhas Nembang, the speaker of the interim parliament on Monday that the US State Department will hold extensive discussions to remove the Maoists from the list of global terrorists.

The US had not removed the terrorist tag even after the Maoists joined the interim government in January 2007. Former US President Jimmy Carter has been campaigning for the removal of the “terror tag” on the Maoists. He had also reportedly requested the Bush administration on the issue.

Powell is scheduled to leave for Washington next week to take part in the discussions and formulate the US government’s new policies for Nepal.

Nembang claimed Powell gave enough hints that the terror tag would be removed.

Powell also assured Nembang that US assistance to Nepal would continue as usual.

Despite Nembang’s claim, the US Embassy in Kathmandu did not make any statement on removal of terror tag. So far, it has been maintaining its distance from the Maoists.

However, the Maoists themselves never appealed to the US to withdraw its terror tag.