Nepal and UK agree to discuss Gurkha matters
LONDON: Nepal and the United Kingdom have agreed to continue discussion on Gurkha matters, while recognizing Gurkhas as a vital link in strengthening the bilateral relationship. In a joint communiqué issued on the occasion of the June 10-12 visit of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the UK and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal (MoFA) have acknowledged the long and distinguished service of Gurkhas in the British Army.
Both sides discussed the shared objective to strengthen the trade and investment relationship between Britain and Nepal, in line with Nepal’s “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali” agenda, while Nepal agreed to seek to improve further the environment for inward investment and the UK will provide support to encourage potential investors to invest in Nepal. To help deliver this, both sides noted the progress made in negotiations on a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, and agreed the aim of it entering into force by 2020, reads the communiqué.
The FCO agreed to a strong development partnership that continued to support Nepal’s development efforts under the new polity. Going forward, both governments recognised each other’s strong leadership on climate change issues and agreed to work together, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to tackle this challenge.
The FCO and MFA agreed on the importance of supporting the international rules-based system and multilateralism. They reiterated the commitment of their governments to protecting and promoting human rights in line with international norms and standards, noting both countries were on the UN Human Rights Council. Looking ahead, both sides agreed to focus on tackling human trafficking.
According to the joint communique’, the FCO welcomed Nepal’s ambition to ratify the Palermo Protocol in 2019 and the two sides agreed they will work together on this issue, including through DFID’s work in Nepal. Both sides expressed their commitment to freedom of expression and media freedom in line with their laws and regulations.
Both sides welcomed efforts to bring Nepali and British young people closer together, welcoming the work of the British Council, which they were pleased was celebrating its 60th anniversary in Nepal. They agreed that other educational initiatives, including the work by UK universities offering degrees in Nepal, the Chevening Scholarship Programme and the British Government’s Girls Education projects in Nepal, would support Nepal’s development. The UK welcomed Nepal’s official recognition of UK A-Level qualifications.
The United Kingdom and Nepal are long-time partners that have enjoyed diplomatic relations for over 200 years, by far the longest formal relationship Nepal has with any country. Today the relationship is broad, vibrant and diverse. This year we have witnessed progress against our shared objectives, and we commit to continued dialogue on issues of mutual interest.
The FCO also extended its support to make Visit Nepal 2020 Campaign a success. Both sides welcomed the many contributions of the Nepali diaspora to public life in Britain while appreciating the work of hundreds of civil society organisations and individuals who help keep the relationship between Britain and Nepal vibrant.
The communiqué was signed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Hunt.