Nepal to accord India and China high priority

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Nepal to accord India and China high priority

Sep 2, 2014-

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala will tell the international community that Nepal’s foreign policy priority begins with its immediate neighbourhood—India and China—and the country will also engage constructively with world powers such as the United States and the European Union, and multilateral organisations like the United Nations.

Koirala will address the 69th session of the UN General Assembly on September 26 in New York. In a briefing to some journalists on the PM’s New York visit, his Foreign Relations Adviser Dinesh Bhattarai said Koirala will also assure world leaders of timely constitution and apprise them on Nepal’s achievements on the peace front.

In recent days, India and China have tried to assure leaders that they attach significant importance to their relations with Nepal. The Indian prime minister’s visit to Kathmandu last month was symbolic in that Narendra Modi made Nepal his second port of call after rising to power. While, Chinese leaders have often stated in clear terms the importance of their ties with Nepal.

Koirala is planning to meet Indian PM Modi and the visiting Chinese leader in New York on the sidelines as well as other heads of state and government from the region.

Koirala leaves for the US on September 19. He will make a stop-over in UAE, where he will meet Nepali diplomats based in the Gulf, and will reach New York on September 22. “For a different sort of engagement with our giant neighbours and to benefit from that, we need to reorient our economic and security issues,” said Bhattarai.

Putting China high on its foreign policy priority as a Saarc observer nation, Nepal would also seek support and goodwill from the West.

Koirala will share Nepal’s story on democratic transition, inviting the international community to invest in and do business with Nepal. He will present Nepal’s position on the post-2015 development agenda initiated by the UN.

“Nepal’s sensitive location offers much to the country but it needs strong national unity,” said Bhattarai, stressing the need to maintain a balance among the major powers.The 18th Saarc Summit to be held in November in Kathmandu would be an opportunity to demonstrate its ability to engage with neighbours.

“Afghanistan is a regional project and Nepal should emerge as a reliable and trusted friend for global and regional powers in order to help the new Saarc member resolve its problems,” said Bhattarai.

Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and some 10 other officials will accompany Koirala. The prime minister will spend 10 days in New York where he will also have a follow-up treatment for lungs cancer.

Published: 03-09-2014 09:05

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