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Gyawali details his 11-month performance

By Our Reporter
Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali organised a press meet and detailed the editors about the progress the Foreign Ministry made after he resumed his Office in February last year.
He also told the editors to engage in a national dialogue to develop informed and authentic foreign policy narratives.
According to him, the country’s foreign policy had a 4-dimensional focus, neighbourhood, development partners, labour destinations and multilateral organisations.
“We have placed our relations with India on a new foundation,” Gyawali said, “After the border blockade in 2015-16, doubts had surfaced on the bilateral relations, which we have set right by now.”
He argued that Nepal now had independent and balanced relations with both India and China because the foreign policy focus was economic partnership.
“Our relations with the two neighbours are unique, and therefore, we don’t compare the two relationships,” Minister Gyawali said.
Highlighting the basics of the foreign policy of the government, Gyawali said protection of national interests was uppermost.
He listed the gains made from the improved relations with India. According to him, the unanimous endorsement of non-interference in Nepal’s internal affairs by the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG), the accord on new energy trade guidelines, the study of floods and inundation, removal of the Indian office in Biratnagar and air route discussion were the achievements.
He further said works on petroleum pipeline, the Janakpur-Jayanagar railways, Kathmandu-Raxaul rail link and meetings, and video conferences of 32 bilateral mechanisms were other gains.
Regarding Nepal-China cooperation, Gyawali presented the signing of the protocol on opening eight international access points from the northern side and the 13 projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), 13-projects as new achievements.
Highlighting prospects and pitfalls of Nepal’s engagement with development partners and multilateral organisations, Gyawali said Nepal had shown its presence in the General Assembly of the United Nations, conducted BIMSTEC meeting, pushed for holding the SAARC summit despite hurdles and forwarded the proposal to obtain the observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
A new labour accord with Japan and deal on zero-cost entry to Malaysia were other gains made in the last 11 months, he said.
Urging journalists to highlight Nepal’s model peace process and the current state of political stability, Minister Gyawali said media should base their stories on facts from the common grounds of work done by the government.
Refuting the media report about his statements on Indo-Pacific Strategy, he said the region had figured in talks, not the strategy and all that appeared on the media.

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