The U.S. has lifted its terror designation of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), several years after it abandoned armed struggle for the rough and tumble of politics.
The State Department said Thursday that the Maoist party has taken steps to dismantle its apparatus for the conduct of terrorist operations, and has committed to pursuing peace and reconciliation.
Maoist rebels began fighting Nepal's government in 1996, and the U.S. designated the party a terrorist entity in 2003. The party, Nepal's largest, then joined a peace process in 2006 and won elections two years later but has struggled to govern in a coalition.
The party's Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has been running a caretaker government since May.
In June, leftists split from the Maoist party and formed their own faction.