Kathmandu, Dec 4
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, has said that the recently held high-level Nepal visits from China and India became fruitful. During today’s meeting of International Relations Committee under the House of Representatives, Foreign Minister Gyawali shared that the visits made by high officials of both countries were significant to further strengthen bilateral relation and to enhance mutual cooperation.
Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and Chinese State Councilor and Minister for Defense, Wei Fenghe, paid official visits to Nepal on November 26 and November 29 respectively. Saying the visit of Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla has initiated the bilateral visit between Nepal and India that were stalled after COVID-19 infection, Minister Gyawali shared that official agenda of border problem between two countries was included in the visit.
Tension arose in the relation between the two countries after India issued a new map incorporating Nepali territory and inaugurated a road linking Mansarobar via Lipulek, and Nepal also issued a map recently incorporating its territory—Limpiyadhura, Lipulek and Kalapani. The Foreign Minister further said that Nepal-India joint meeting would be held soon and efforts would be taken to resolve the problems as much as possible from the meeting.
Similarly, Chinese Defense Minister Wei’s visit became crucial to exchange military support as well as to further strengthen bilateral relations, opined Minister Gyawali. He shared that the visit became fruitful to give pace to the agreements signed during Chinese President Xi jinping’s Nepal visit last year. New foreign policy in the offing He went on to say that efforts at different levels are going on to find a solution to Nepal –India border disputes, adding Nepal and China had no border dispute issues. “The government will issue the country’s new foreign policy within the next few days.’’
According to the Minister, the government is making initiation to get a vaccine against the coronavirus and 20 per cent vaccine will be achieved on a subsidy under the COVAX and the government has already written to several countries to bring the remaining quantity of the vaccine. On a different note, the Foreign Minister claimed the latest Transparency International’s report is just an opinion-based document not the fact-based one. Committee President Pabitra Niraula informed the meeting that country’s national security policy is the agenda of the next meeting and the issues will be discussed with the Ministry of Defense.
In the today’s session, Committee members put queries about the Nepal visits by two countries and the government’s foreign policy. Lawmaker Bhim Bahadur Rawal queried about projects (under Nepal’s river system) that India is said to go for additional embankment works, about the report of Eminent Persons’ Group, about the meeting of India’s intelligence agency RAW with the Prime Minister, progress updates about China-aided projects and about the agreement reached with the United States of America.
Lawmaker Prakashman Singh inquired about the Nepal-China border dispute issues while it was Dibyamani Rajbhandari who demanded that people should get information about the country’s foreign policy. Sujata Koirala asked when Nepal would get the COVID-19 vaccine and what the government’s plans for its distribution.
Menuka Gurung was of the view that the recent visit by India had paved the way for further diplomatic dealings between the two countries and the Ministry should make efforts to sort out bilateral pending issues.