KATHMANDU, Sept 7: The US government has revoked the designation of the UCPN (Maoist) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity and removed it from the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL).
A spokesperson at US State Department confirmed on Thursday that the CPN (Maoist), which now has become UCPN (Maoist) after unification with various communist parties, and its aliases were removed from the Designated Global Terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224 and a ´terrorist organization´ from the TEL under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
"With these actions, the CPN (M)´s property and interests in property in the United States or within the possession or control of US persons will no longer be blocked, and US entities may engage in transactions with CPN (M) without having to obtain a license," US Department of State said in a statement.
The decision of the US government comes two days before the new US envoy Peter W. Bodde, is arriving in Kathmandu. US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O Blake, and a delegation of US Peace Corps are also scheduled to visit Nepal later next week.
The Maoist party was designated a global terrorist entity by the US in 2003 and added to the TEL the next year following the murder of two security guards serving at the US embassy in Kathmandu and minor bomb explosions by the Maoist cadres at the US Information Center at Gyaneshwor.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha welcomed the US government´s decision. "This should have been done much earlier. We welcome the decision of the US government," said Shrestha, who is also the Vice Chairman of the UCPN (Maoist).
The decision to remove the party from the terrorist list was taken after it was determined through a thorough review that Maoist was no longer engaged in terrorist activity that threatens the security of US nationals or US foreign policy.
"Additionally, in recent years, the Maoist party has been elected as the head of Nepal´s coalition government, has taken steps to dismantle its apparatus for the conduct of terrorist operations, and has demonstrated a credible commitment to pursuing the peace and reconciliation process in Nepal," the staement said.
"This delisting reflects the United States´ resolve to keep our terrorism sanctions current and demonstrates that a group need not stay on a terrorist list forever should it demonstrate a credible commitment to pursuing peace and reconciliation," it further said, clarifying that that the move does not seek to overlook or forget the party´s violent past.