Maoists should lay down arms first, says Moriarty

Kathmandu, October 19:

American ambassador to Nepal James Moriarty has expressed optimism about the ongoing peace process in Nepal upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) today following his visit to the US.

He discussed about the latest developments in Nepal with senior US government officials during his ten-day visit to the US.

He said that the US was optimistic about the peace process in Nepal and was hopeful that “the Maoists would lay down arms before joining mainstream politics,” he told journalists at the TIA today.

On the US offer regarding the resettlement of 60,000 Bhutanese refugees in the US, he said such a proposal is not going to help the Bhutanese government in its internal matters. The sole intention of the US is to “provide opportunities to the Bhutanese refugees” and that the refugees who have been facing a longstanding crisis for the past 16 years have a right to good life, he said. Over 106,000 refugees from Bhutan have been living in seven camps in eastern Nepal since early 1990s.

On whether the resettlement offer would impact the repatriation of refugees to Bhutan, he questioned if anyone has “seen it making an impact”. Moriarty, however, declined to comment on the supposed US pressure on the seven-party alliance during the ongoing

peace process.

Following the success of the movement for democracy in April, Moriarty has been consistently calling on the Maoists to lay down arms prior to joining mainstream politics.