Nepal Today

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Top US diplomat for South Asia arriving
on last Nepal visit

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 31 Nov: Top US diplomat for South Asia, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Baucher, arrives 10 December for a brief visit, the foreign ministry said.
He will leave the next day after his last visit to the Himalayan state.
Baucher is a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration.
“Government expects some friendly message during the visit,” Annapurna Post quoted an unnamed foreign ministry as saying.
During the first administration, the Bush administration armed and trained Royal Nepal Army, creating a special forces battalion to crush the 10-year Maoist insurgency.
Sher Bahadur Deuba, next in line to succeed Girija Prasad Koirala in the main opposition Nepali Congress, was the first Nepali prime minister to be invited by a US president at the White House.
During Deuba’s tenure, Washington extended millions of dollars in military assistance to unsuccessfully quash the Maoist people’s war.
In his second administration, Bush reacted by suspending military assistance after a royal takeover by King Gyanendra; Maoists, without defeating the military on the battlefield, gained power through a movement supported by New Delhi, Washington and London.
The Bush administration hasn’t withdrawn the terrorist tag on the Maoists even after their election in April 2008.



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