Visiting British Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN-UML Chair KP Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
At the meeting between PM Deuba and Lancaster, the two discussed Nepal-Britain bilateral relations and cooperation, and how the long-standing relations could be further strengthened in the changed context. Lancaster also enquired about the role of the Nepali Congress after the formation of the new government, according to PM Deuba’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Dinesh Bhattarai.
According to The Himalayan Times online, in his reply, Deuba said the NC would play the role of a constructive and responsible opposition in line with the common agenda of development. PM Deuba also said that Nepal would welcome foreign investment in various potential fields such as tourism, hydropower and agriculture, according to Bhattarai.
During his meeting with Oli at UML parliamentary party office in Singha Durbar, Lancaster extended his congratulations on the left alliance’s victory in the recently held elections and extended best wishes to the new government to be formed.
Lancaster also said that Britain would boost its investment in Nepal given the country was headed towards political stability. “Britain is hopeful about the creation of investment-friendly environment in Nepal as a result of political stability,” a statement by Oli’s secretariat quoted Lancaster as saying at the meeting. Thanking the visiting British minister, Oli expressed hope that the UK government would continue its cooperation in various areas of development in Nepal. Oli also enquired about the ‘discrimination’ against Nepalis working in British army.
During his meeting with Dahal, Lancaster enquired about post-election situation in Nepal, unification of CPN-UML and CPN-MC, good governance and development. Lancaster and Dahal also discussed the implementation of the constitutional provision that ensures women’s participation in state organs, according to Dahal’s personal secretariat.