PM Koirala pressed to cancel New York visit

  • India cannot impose trade embargo, say leaders
- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Sep 23, 2015-

Citing the volatile situation in the wake of the new constitution promulgation, the ruling CPN-UML and main opposition UPCN (Maoist) on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to cancel his New York visit scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

In a three-party meeting on Tuesday evening at the PM’s residence in Baluwatar, Maoist Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha was the first to propose the visit cancellation. Though it would be good to apprise the international community at the United Nations on the new constitution, he pointed to the chaos in the country to oppose the trip.

After UML Chairman KP Oli supported Shrestha’s view, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal backed it. Oli asked the PM to reconsider the idea amid the unrest at home.

Leaders also discussed the possibility of a meeting between Koirala and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. If there is no certainty about the meeting with Modi, mending ties with India would be more significant, said Shrestha.

Law Minister Narahari Acharya advised the PM to make a decision by taking stock of the situation surrounding the new constitution. Koirala replied that he would decide whether or not to travel to New York on Wednesday. An 18-member delegation had been planned for the event. “The PM told the meeting that he would take a decision on Wednesday morning after consulting with his aides in the government,” said NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel.

At the meeting, the leaders also discussed the statements issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs on the new constitution. Analysing their contents, the leaders concluded that the statements were unsupportive of Nepal’s constitutional developments.

India cannot impose barriers as the issue of Madhes and Tharus is our internal matter, said leaders, terming the Indian gesture as ‘undiplomatic’. But leaders also agreed to talk to the neighbour to address its concerns even as they called the move an act of “meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs”.

“The Indian warning of blockade is not good in bilateral relations. It is unimaginable and unexpected,” said Maoist Vice-chairman Shrestha.

The meeting decided to intensify diplomatic engagement with major countries and friendly nations on the implementation of the new constitution. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nepal’s embassies abroad would be instructed to familiarise the world on the contents and spirit of the new charter.

Leaders also agreed to hold talks with the disgruntled forces such as Madhesis and Tharus.

Published: 23-09-2015 08:25

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