Kathmandu, June 13:

Former US President Jimmy Carter, who arrived here today on a four-day visit, is set to encourage Nepal’s political leaders to continue on the path to peace as they prepare to hold constituent assembly elections later this year.

A Thai Airlines’ regular flight carrying the former president landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at 12:55 pm.

Carter’s motorcade, with his own security facility provided by the US government and the special security provided by the Armed Police Force (APF), entered Kathmandu through the smaller exit that connects the runway and the road linking the domestic terminal and the TIA ‘Golden Gate.’

Carter, a Nobel Laureate (2002), waved at reporters and lensmen waiting for him while he came out of the airport.

He is also expected to meet Maoist Chairman Prachanda and his deputy Dr Baburam Bhattarai, making him the first US official to meet the Maoist leaders.

Carter, who is in no way associated with the US government, will be meeting the Maoist leaders on behalf of The Carter Centre and in connection with the centre’s involvement in Nepal as an ‘independent international observer’ of the constituent assembly election.

As the US still considers the CPN-Maoist here a terrorist group, its citizens are not allowed to offer any ‘material assistance’ to such groups. Carter will meet PM Girija Prasad Koirala at 9:00 am tomorrow at Baluatar and officials of the Election Commission in the afternoon. Carter will also meet political leaders representing the Parliament and representatives of civil society organisations and marginalised groups. He will, however, not meet King Gyanendra.