Gyawali refutes reports about Nepal joining US Indo-Pacific strategy

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Dec 24, 2018-

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali has outrightly rejected reports about Nepal supporting the Indo-Pacific strategy of the US.

During his recent visit to the US, Minister Gyawali  had held a meeting with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, where the two leaders reportedly discussed the US Asia policy, also known as Indo-Pacific strategy.

As the policy has been viewed by many as the Washington’s way of countering the growing influence of China in Asia, reports about Gyawali—who represents the government of Nepal Communist Party—expressing allegiance to the US strategy has raised eyebrows of many including his party leaders. But Gyawali has refuted the reports.  

He called a press conference at the Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday and said that though Nepal’s role in the Indo-Pacific region was discussed during his meeting with Pompeo, they did not talk about the Indo-Pacific strategy.

“Since Nepal is the chair nation of SAARC and a member state of BIMSTEC, the US reckons that Nepal can play a crucial role in the Indo-Pacific region. But the reports about the US including Nepal in its Indo-Pacific strategy are false,” he said, emphasising that region and strategy are different things.

The foreign minister also briefed the media about the issues that he discussed with the US officials.

“I shared our development priorities with them and about resumption of overseas development assistance to meet our goal to become a middle-income country by 2030,” he said.

“ I also thanked them for providing access to 77 Nepali products in the American market and urged them to waive taxes and customs duty for garments manufactured in Nepal,” he added.

Gyawali claimed that his US visit was successful.

 “My visit has taken the Nepal-US bilateral relations to a new height,” he said.

Published: 24-12-2018 07:43

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