By Our Reporter
Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali left Kathmandu on Monday for an official visit to the United States of America.
This is the high level visit of the authorities of Nepal and US after 17 years. Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell had visited Nepal in 2002. The meeting has been regarded to be important for Nepal.
Gyawali held a bilateral meeting with the US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo in Washington DC on Tuesday, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
One the same day, Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi held consultation with the US delegation led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs at the Department of State Ambassador Alice G. Wells.
During his visit, Gyawali was to meet the high-level officials from the White House, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), among others.
MoFA said that bilateral trade between the two countries would also be discussed in the meetings.
Nepal has trade surplus with the USA. Nepal exported goods worth 87 million dollars in the first 10 months of 2018 and imported goods worth 47.2 million dollar.
In an attempt to support Nepal in economic recovery in the aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, the USA implemented Nepal-specific duty-free programme in December 2016 which allows the duty-free entry of 66 Nepali products such as carpets and rugs, shawls, luggage articles, handbags, blankets and hats.
Similarly, the US is the third major sources of tourists for Nepal, 82,870 US citizens visited Nepal in the 9 months this year. About 73,650 Americans came to Nepal in 2017.
Many in Kathmandu interpreted the visit of Gaywali would bring a change into the US policy that had been looking Nepal through the Indian eyes.
Although it is yet to be confirmed, they said the US wanted to adopt a policy to see Nepal through the direct contact with the Nepali authorities in Kathmandu, not the authorities in New Delhi.
The Nepali delegation consisted of Ambassador of Nepal to the USA Dr. Arjun Kumar Karki, joint secretaries from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Home Affairs, and official from the MoFA and Embassy of Nepal in Washington DC.
The Minister-led delegation will return to Kathmandu on Friday.
Gyawali leaves for US official visit
By Our Reporter