Nepal to play key role in Indo-Pacific strategy?
By Our Reporter
The recent US visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has raised suspicion whether the communist government is again annoying the northern neighbour as Minister Gyawali was suspected to participat in a meeting of the anti-China group during his US trip.
Gyawali’s comment on North Korea and his meeting with several US officials were looked with suspicion by the diplomats in Kathmandu although he was the only high level Nepali politician to visit US officially after late Kings Mahendra and Birendra.
However, upon his arrival in Kathmandu Minister Gyawali refuted all allegations and said he held an intensive discussion on denuclearisation and establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula.
He said that he had discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to bilateral, regional and international significance and concerns with the Secretary of State of the United States of America (USA) Michael Richard Pompeo during his recent official visit to the USA.
At a press conference on Sunday, Minister Gyawali said, “Discussions were held with US Secretary of State Pompeo by keeping national interests of Nepal’s at the centre.”
Stating that Nepal has been taking a stance on peace-building not only in South Korea but also on the entire Korean Peninsula as well as denuclearisation as proposed by the United Nations, Minister Gyawali refuted the misleading news about the talks that dwelt on minimising the Chinese influence in Nepal and encouraging the US influence.
“Nepal was not after the USA’s security strategy for Asia-Pacific region,” he said, adding that issues such as cooperation and collaboration between Nepal and the USA as well as Nepal’s contributions to the UN’s peacekeeping mission figured the discussion during his meeting with the American Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Randall Schriver.
Minister Gyawali further shared that the US had assured to develop Panchkhal based Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre into the international standard training centre.
Minister Gyawali also said that the Foreign Ministerial level meeting between Nepal and US held in a gap of about two decades remained successful.
Minister Gyawali had met various US officials during his stay in the US. He urged the US officials to include the Nepalis goods including textiles in customs free list given by the US to Nepal.
Similarly, Nepal-America Political Consultation meeting was also taken place during this visit.