No lifting of sanctions against Nepalese Maoists for now: US



Washington: The US on Friday ruled out lifting of sanctions against the Maoists of Nepal unless they completely renounce violence.

"We have begun a process of engagement now, with the Maoists. We've had meetings with them, and I think that reflects some of the important steps that they have taken, but we think it's now important for them to completely renounce violence, to stop the sometimes violent activities of the Young Communist League, the YCL, which is their youth wing, and to take some other steps that we've talked to the Maoists about," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, told a popular Japanese newspaper in an interview.

"In return for which we'd be willing to take them off our list and to regularise our contacts with them. But, again, I'd like to stress that there has been progress, and we've begun to have talks with the Maoists, and we've welcomed that opportunity," Blake said according to the transcripts of the interview released by the State Department.

The US, he said, has been encouraging all parties to draft a new Constitution, to proceed with the re-integration of the armies, and all the other elements of that very important accord between the various stake holders of Nepal.

"Again, we think that a lot of progress has been made in the last several months, but it's very, very important for that progress, now, to be sustained, because there's still a great deal to do between now and May," he said.

PTI