Experts discuss geopolitics and military diplomacy in Nepal-US relations « Khabarhub
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Experts discuss geopolitics and military diplomacy in Nepal-US relations

22 July 2022  

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KATHMANDU: Realizing the need for a discussion on Nepal-US relations and the role of military cooperation within, Centre for Social Inclusion and Federalism, a research think tank based in Kathmandu, held a seminar on ‘Geopolitics and Military Diplomacy in Nepal-US Relations,’ in Lalitpur on Friday.

The discussion was aimed to positively impact Nepal’s diplomatic practice.

The first session held on ‘Military Diplomacy of Nepal’ consisted of the panel involving Gen. Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, Former Chief of Nepal Army; Upendra Yadav, Chairperson of Janata Samajbadi Party and Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Deepak Prakash Bhatt, Member of the House of Representative and Member of Foreign Affairs Committee in the Lower House; Maj. Gen. Purna Bahadur Silwal (Retd.), Nepal Army.

General Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur said that while Military is known as a hard power tool, it can also be used as a soft power tool to achieve broader foreign policy objectives.

Chairperson of Janata Samajbadi Party and Former Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav mentioned that Nepal must abide by its non-alignment policy and reject proposals for military partnership with foreign countries.

Dr. Deepak Prakash Bhatt mentioned that Military Diplomacy is a very relevant topic in the discourse in present context when the world continues to change geopolitically.

Maj. Gen Purna Bahadur Silwal also said that strong military ties between two countries can be leveraged to achieve broader foreign policy objectives.

The second session on ‘Geopolitics and Nepal-US Relations’ consisted of the panel involving Dinesh Bhattarai, Former Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister; Dr. Suresh Chalise, Former Ambassador to the USA & UK; Mr. Ajaya Bhadra Khanal, Senior Journalist and Research Director at CESIF; and Ms. Mamta Siwakoti, Lawyer and Researcher.

Speaking in the seminar, Dinesh Bhattarai mentioned that Nepal is caught in a geopolitical manoeuvring between global powerhouses like US and China and their conflict for hegemony.

Similarly, Dr. Suresh Chalise said that US involvement in Nepal has been influenced by its regional interests.

To protect its sovereignty, Nepal should confine its relationship with the US to strictly bilateral. Meanwhile, Ajay Bhadra Khanal mentioned that the US has used investments as a tool for diplomatic relations and political influence.

With growing geopolitical interests of powerhouses, Nepal will face increasing pressure in the future.

Siwakoti speaking at the event signalled that Nepal’s domestic political narrative perceives ourselves as small and insignificant and we are quick to consider any external interest a threat. Negotiating with countries like the US for investment and aid is a strategy of economic pragmatism.

Publish Date : 22 July 2022 22:10 PM

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