Govt recommends six ambassadors

  • Fails to nominate envoys for 10 missions, including India, US, UK, Qatar and Bahrain
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 4, 2014-

The government on Thursday recommended six career diplomats for the position of ambassadors to Thailand, Canada, France, Kuwait, Switzerland (Geneva), and South Africa.

The Cabinet recommended Khaganath Adhikari as the ambassador-nominee for Thailand, Deepak Dhital for Switzerland (Geneva), Ambika Devi Luitel for France, Kali Prasad Pokhrel for (Canada), Yagya Bahadur Hamal for Kuwait, and Amrit Bahadur Rai for South Africa. All six nominees are joint secretaries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

After the recommendation, the names of proposed envoys will be forwarded to the Parliamentary Hearing Committee for endorsement. Once they get the committee’s clearance, the names will be forwarded to the receiving countries, seeking approval. After securing approval from the receiving countries, the President will make a formal announcement of their appointments.

“After completing all these procedures, the appointment will be made sometime around  mid-Novembers. These six ambassador-nominees could take up their assignments only after the 18th Saarc Summit,” said an official.    

Meanwhile, a group of senior and junior joint secretaries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who were also aspiring candidates for the ambassador’s post,  have expressed displeasure over the Cabinet’s recommendations, terming it a gross violation of the appointment criteria like seniority, meritocracy and work performance.

The government has yet to nominate the envoys for India, US, UK, Germany, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

Even after repeated power sharing negotiations between ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have failed to appoint envoys, especially for India, US and UK, which are considered important foreign missions for the country.

As per understating, 50 percent ambassadorial postings are allocated to career diplomats, while the remaining seats are filled from political appointment.

In India, the ambassador’s position is lying vacant since three and a half years.

We will start processing appointing ambassadors in India, US and UK under the political category very soon as per the spirit of coalition government, said Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.

Appointing ambassador to India has become a bone of contention between NC and UML. While the NC leaders have been insisting that the party should get the quota at least for New Delhi as it has been sending its loyalists in these nations after restoration of democracy in 1990. The UML leaders have said it is their turn to send envoys to India.

Published: 05-09-2014 09:22

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