US talks to Nepal Maoists
[TamilNet, Friday, 02 May 2008, 11:03 GMT]
The United States in a significant change in its policy towards organizations included in the State Departments Foreign Terrorists Organization (FTO) list, made its first official diplomatic contact with the leader of Nepal's former rebel Maoists, BBC report in Kathmandu said.
US ambassador to Nepal Nancy Powell met Maoist leader Prachanda on Thursday, a statement from the US embassy in Kathmandu said, according to the report.
The US embassy statement said that Ms Powell and Prachanda, whose real name is Pushpa Kamal Dahal, discussed the outcome of last month's elections to a constituent assembly.
The statement said Ms Powell would visit Washington soon for consultations on US-Nepal relations.
The statement said Ms Powell encouraged the Maoist leader to ensure that the former rebels showed their commitment to the political process through their words and actions, the report said.
The change in policy comes after former US President Jimmy Carter, speaking just after the 10 April elections, told the BBC he found America's failure to deal with the Maoists "embarrassing."
The ultra-Marxists captured the reins of Nepal in a democratic process in the elections held on April 10, for the first time in the history of South Asia.
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