KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has concluded his official visits to Vietnam and Cambodia. He was in the visit from May 9 to May 15. Multifarious issues on boosting bilateral relations featured during the visit.
In this connection, RSS representative Dipendra Adhikari took an interview with Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali who was also the member of the entourage. Minister Gyawali shared different issues including the achievements of the PM’s visit this way:
The visit was first and historical from the Prime Minister’s level to these countries. What were the objectives of the visits?
FM: These were the good will and friendly visits to Vietnam and Cambodia. The two countries hit with conflict in the past have achieved notable economic progress in a short time, which is important for us to learn how the developmental activities could be accelerated. Similarly, the visits were centered on inviting foreign investment, transferring technology and promoting tourism in the country.
It is said after you resumed the office as the Foreign Minister, Nepal’s international relations have been extended and diplomacy proactive. How do you observe it?
FM: Of course, the foreign policy of the country now has been extended with positive pro-activism, as Nepal needs to augment its national interest and inform the international arena. I have divided the issues into four aspects: the first – neighbourly relations, the second- exchange of investment and technology with development partners countries, the third one- diplomatic talks with the countries consuming Nepali labour, and fourth- extension of constructive partnership with developing countries to forge common understanding in global issues similar to Nepal. For the purpose, I have paid due attention on extending soft and smart power in diplomacy.
Now, the country has the communist-led government. The government has continuously making visits to socialist countries like China, Viet Nam and Cambodia. What might be the political interest behind it?
FM: It is just a co-incidence. The government in its one year has exchanged bilateral visits with about 16/17 countries. We have no other interest except development and prosperity. Nepal is accelerating its activities in line with the international laws and respect to national interest and sovereignty. Therefore, there is no meaning to define the visit otherwise. No one needs to get afraid of any political ideology to learn positive aspect of development.
Which aspect is directly stressed on, and achieved from the visits?
FM: We should harmonize the friendly relations with all nations, as Prime Minister always says. To this point, the visits remained successful. Mainly, the visits remained milestone to invite the foreign tourists to visit Nepal. On the International Vesak Day Conference in Viet Nam where representatives from 112 countries were present, Prime Minister Oli urged all to visit Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha. It may be noted that, Viet Nam and Cambodia have the majority of Buddhist followers.
In course of visit, some agreements and letters of intent were signed and exchanged. When and how they could be accelerated for implementation?
FM: Yes, some agreements and intent letters were signed and exchanged during the visits to the two countries. And, for the implementation, a consultation mechanism led by the foreign secretary of the respective countries was formed and the mechanism has begun its work too. So, they will come into action very soon.
Nepal has a geopolitical specificity on one hand and on the other, it has compulsion to achieve rapid economic growth. How can we forward our economic diplomacy effectively?
FM: Now, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) was preparing country-wise profile, keeping our national interest in centre. The MoFA has a clear IR and foreign policy to analyze and implement the national need and interest. The Ministry has further directed the ambassadors to this effect and work as per the spirit of the MoFA to amplify the economic diplomacy. The Ministry will evaluate the performance of the ambassadors on the basis of this priority as well.
As the Foreign Minister, what is your appeal to Nepalis living in the country and abroad?
FM: First of all, I would like to request all not to disseminate negative and pessimistic feelings and remarks that our nation does not achieve the path of development and prosperity. I urge them to be firm that we can transform the society; we can direct the nation on the way to prosperity. I would like to urge all to invest in productive sectors. In course of the bilateral exchange visits, we have requested the foreigners to invest in Nepal particularly in productive sectors.
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