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    'Nepal Maoists in talks with US to remove terrorist tag'

    Kathmandu (PTI): Nepal Maoists, who are named as a terrorist organisation by the US government, are in talks with American officials to get Washington to remove the "terrorist tag" from the former rebels, now tipped to head the next government in the Himalayan state.

    "We are trying to establish close links with the US...talks are going on in several fronts in this regard," said C P 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 maintained on 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 Telegraph Nepal online on Saturday.

    Speaking at an interaction programme in the capital yesterday, Gajurel said the US may feel embarrassed in maintaining the "terrorist tag" on the CPN-Maoist. 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.

    The former rebels ended their decade-long civil war after inking a peace deal in November 2006 with the government that took over from King Gyanendra. The election was for a special assembly that is expected to abolish the 240-year-old monarchy and rewrite Nepal's constitution.

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