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US seeking Nepal military bases to target China: Maoists

          Kathmandu, Nov 3: The United States is planning to set up military bases in Nepal to target China and India, claimed Maoist rebels. According to the News, the rebels were quoted as saying that Washington was taking this step after declaring the guerrillas a national security threat and freezing their foreign assets. In a statement issued here, the Maoists, who are fighting to overthrow Nepal's monarchy, said: "Despite our declared policy not to cause any harm to any foreigners or foreign power including America, the Americans have taken this action so they can set up military bases with an aim of encircling China and India." "It is absurd to think Americans who live across the seven seas face a threat from us. The US wanted an excuse to interfere in Nepal's internal affairs," they further stressed.

          Describing the latest move by the U.S. as "a conspiracy against calls by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the European Union and other Western powers for the Nepalese government and the Maoists to resume a peace dialogue," the statement further went on to say that there were no immediate plans on resuming peace talks. Late last month, Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the time was not right for negotiations because of the Nepalese government's growing "militarisation". The State Department had announced last Friday that it had designated the Maoists a threat to national security, a move, which freezes any assets the rebels, may have in the United States or under U.S. jurisdiction. Immediately after the announcement, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu advised American citizens to exercise special caution because of "the possibility of an increased threat to Americans and American-affiliated organizations from Maoist insurgents in the coming days."


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