HIGH LEVEL VISITS Neighbors' Concerns

Nepal's neighbors have conveyed the message to Nepal's deputy prime ministers that they are concerned over their security

Aug. 31, 2016, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 10.No.3, September 02,2016 (Bhadra 17, 2073)

After the completion of their visits by two deputy prime ministers, Bimlendra Nidhi and Krishna Bahadur Mahara, to New Delhi and Beijing as special envoys of prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, they came back with the message that the neighbors are concerned primarily about their security. Both the neighbors have made it clear that Nepal should abide by its commitments, whoever is in power.

Following the promulgation of the new constitution, Nepal has gone through a prolonged political instability and the security concerns of the two neighbors have intensified. Unlike the western powers, United Kingdom, European Union and super power United States, who supported Nepal’s constitution writing process and social development programs vigorously with the much-needed resources, the two neighbors have shown security as their prime concern.

In recent months, tightening the visa for head of international non-governmental organizations and third country people living in Nepal under tourist visa, Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs has given indications of the possible moves.

This unprepared move will ultimately backfire given the current involvement of INGOs in social development sector and earthquake reconstruction. Chinese and Indians are too sensitive about the growing western INGO activities in Nepal.  

Just a week after the formation of his government, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who was projected by CPN-UML and other coalition partners as anti-national coalition, had sent high level delegations to convey the message that his governed would continue to address the concerns of both the neighbors.

According to Xinhua, visiting Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who acted as a special envoy for new Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, in his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, said Nepal will strengthen coordination and cooperation with China, and implement all accords reached between the two countries.

On the morning of August 17, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Krishna Bahadur Mahara of Nepal. According to the website of Chinese Foreign Ministry Li Keqiang expressed that China and Nepal have respected each other and treated each other as equals for a long time. "We enjoy high-level political mutual trust and close economic and trade exchanges. The development of China-Nepal relations is not targeted at any third party. The Chinese side appreciates the new Nepalese government for its consistent emphasis on developing relations with China, and is willing to jointly promote China-Nepal relations for new progress and facilitate regional peace, stability and prosperity with Nepal in the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness."

Li Keqiang pointed out that China and Nepal are facing the important missions of developing economy and improving people's livelihood. China is willing to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with the Nepalese side in trade and investment, connectivity, infrastructure construction and other fields, and offer support to Nepal within its capacity, especially in coping with natural disasters, post-disaster reconstruction and others.

Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara said that the new Nepalese government adheres to prioritizing its relations with China in its diplomacy and firmly upholds the One-China policy. “The Nepalese side is willing to work with China to strengthen coordination and cooperation, well implement all cooperation consensuses reached by the two countries and better realize common development in economic and social sectors,” said Mahara, according to reports.

Briefly talking to journalists upon his arrival at Kathmandu Deputy Prime Minister Mahara said Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang are positive about visiting Nepal.

DPM Nidhi’s New Delhi Visit

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi visited India with the same mission. However, India also expressed concern over growing political instability and possible implications of Madheshi agitation in its security in border areas.

In his tweet spokesperson of External Affairs Ministry of India Vikas Swarup wrote, “Engaging the new Government in Nepal. Special Envoy and Deputy PM Bimalendra Nidhi calls on PM.”

“India-Nepal relations are characterized by strong people-to-people ties. India is committed to strengthen these bonds of friendship,” Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi posted a tweet following the meeting with DPM Nidhi.

Indian MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup ‏tweeted, “first visitor from the new Government in Nepal! EAM meets Special Envoy and Deputy PM Bimalendra Nidhi in Delhi on August 19."

Nidhi also claimed that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s India visit, Indian President’s Nepal visit and Nepal President’s India visit were fixed during his visit.

DPM Mahara and Nidhi came with the same message from the two neighbors that high level visits are on the line. However, they also received the message about their own security concern in Nepal.

 

 

Keshab Poudel

Keshab Poudel

Poudel is the editor of New Spotlight Magazine.

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