US appreciates progress in Nepal`s peace process

The US has "encouraged" Maoist chief Prachanda to brief the international community on the ongoing peace process.

Kathmandu: The US has "encouraged" Maoist
chief Prachanda to brief the international community on the
ongoing peace process even as it sought close partnership with

"We encouraged Prachanda to sit and brief the
international community (on the progress of the peace
process)," said US Ambassador Scott H DeLisi, who accompanied
the senior US officials during the meetings with the top
political leaders.
Principal US Deputy Assistant Secretary, Geoffrey R
Pyatt who serves directly under Assistant Secretary for South
and Central Asia Robert Blake, said, he was "enormously
optimistic about the situation in Nepal".

Pyatt met Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai,
Maoist chairman Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sushil
Koirala and CPN-UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal.

DeLisi said that political parties have been able to
narrow down, among other things, their wide-ranging
differences on constitution drafting and peace process issues.

Nepal has faced political instability and deadlock
since the 2008 election to the parliament, delaying the peace
process and drafting of a new constitution.

One of the key sticking points in the peace plan has
been the proposed integration of 19,000 former Maoist rebel
fighters into the army, with military leaders and the main
opposition Nepali Congress resisting the en massed

The US officials said that they are keen to see Nepal
develop a close partnership with the US in economic
development, and specifically pointed out that Nepal and US
can cooperate in hydropower and civil aviation sectors.
"Nepal exists today in a superb geography as the
Himalayan republic is situated between India and China, two
fastest growing economies in the world, there`s enormous
opportunity for Nepal to leverage," Pyatt pointed out.

He expressed hope that Prime Minister Bhattrai`s upcoming
visit to New Delhi would offer new opportunities for Nepal.


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