Kathmandu: The US is mulling removing the Nepal Maoists from its terrorist watch list as the country steps up effort to conclude the landmark peace process and draft a new constitution.

Visiting US Congressman Steve Chabot has expressed confidence that Washington would remove the Maoists from its terrorist watch list once Nepal gets a lasting peace and a new Constitution.

Discussions on removing the terror tag attached to the Maoists are already underway in Washington, said Chabot, who also heads the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia in the US Congress, after his meeting with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

"I am confident that we can remove the terrorist tag on the Maoists once Nepal gets lasting peace and Constitution," Chabot said.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) is not included on the Foreign Terrorist Organisation list, but remains a designated Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 and is included on the Terrorism Exclusion List, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, US State Department had earlier said.

The Unified CPN-Maoist has been asking the US government to remove it from the terror watch-list time and again.

The US Congressman also expressed concern over the integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants and the statue drafting process.

The Nepal Maoists, who led a decade-long insurgency before joining mainstream politics in 2006, were placed on the terror list by the US administration.

The US lawmaker also raised the issue of Tibetan refugees in Nepal amid growing pressure from China to crackdown on the Buddhist community fleeing the country.

He said that the US is satisfied by what the Government of Nepal has been doing about the Tibetan refugees.

The US was not only concerned about the Tibetan refugees but the refugees around the world, including the Bhutanese refugees, said US Ambassador to Nepal Scott H DeLisi, who was also present on the occasion.

In reply to a question, Chabot said Nepal's decision to support the statehood of Palestine would not necessarily affect Nepal-US relations.

"I don't anticipate change in our relations with Nepal," Chabot said.

Chabot arrived in Nepal on Thursday to take stalk of the current situation in the country.

(Agencies)