Ministry of Foreign Affairs (File Photo)
KATHMANDU: Nepal is currently reviewing its current foreign policy and relations vis-à-vis its neighbors – India and China.
Given the current state of affairs, Nepal is all set to review the policy with the western countries as well, sources have said adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has already prepared the draft.
It should be noted that Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali had last Thursday consulted with 6 foreign affairs experts, including former ambassadors Gyan Chandra Acharya, Deep Kumar Upadhyaya, Mahesh Maskey, political analyst Geja Sharma Wagle, Professor Khadak KC, and Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr Rajan Bhattarai on the issue.
During the discussion, Minister Gyawali sought their suggestions saying that the government was reviewing its foreign policy based on Nepal’s fundamental objectives, including the country’s dignity in the international arena by maintaining sovereignty, integrity and independence.
However, in the last few decades, the environment for international relations between countries has changed.
Sources said that the draft of the policy has given topmost priority to the immediate neighbors. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is set to finalize the draft soon and get it endorsed from the cabinet within a month.
A high-level task force coordinated by Professor Shreedhar Khatri had submitted a report with recommendations on Nepal’s foreign policy to the previous government. However, the government had initiated further discussions saying that report was incomplete.
“We have placed immediate neighbors India and China as our topmost priority,” a MoFA source said, adding that they would prepare the policy as per the priority, including labor destination countries, United States, donor countries, among others.
It may also be noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “will prepare the foreign policy considering the changing regional and global context”.
Likewise, the government has also initiated homework to appoint ambassadors to 12 different countries, including the United States of America.
The tenure of Dr Arjun Karki, the incumbent Ambassador to the US, has been extended until further decisions are made.
Three countries having Nepal’s mission are currently sans ambassadors while ambassadors from eight countries are returning after two months following the completion of their tenure.
“We are currently working on filling up the posts of ambassadors that are lying vacant,” Secretary at the MoFA, Shanker Bairagi said.