Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on Sunday held extensive consultations ahead of his official visit to China later this month, a trip aimed at maintaining a balance in ties with both the neighbours – China and India.
This will be his second foreign trip after assuming the office in December last year. The 68-year-old Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre (CPN-MC) leader visited India in June as his first foreign trip after assuming office for the third time.
During discussions held at the Prime Minister’s Office at Singha Durbar here, the Prime Minister was advised to prioritize the establishment of balanced diplomatic ties with the neighbours, to review the implementation status of past agreements, to pay heed to security affairs of mutual concerns, and to promote Nepal’s non-aligned foreign policy, sources said.
Those present at the meeting were lawmakers representing various political parties, political leaders, former prime ministers and former foreign ministers, they said.
Earlier, Prachanda also held consultations with former foreign secretaries and former ambassadors of Nepal to different countries.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that his upcoming China visit would be productive and the government was making necessary preparations for making the journey successful, according to sources close to the PM.
The Prime Minister also made it clear that the government was committed to maintaining balanced relations with Nepal’s two close neighbours and all other friendly countries. He reiterated the government’s commitment to the policy of non-alignment.
According to the Prime Minister, Nepal has set out to highlight its development efforts, the impact of climate change, its efforts to conclude the peace process and other contemporary issues, appealing to the world for combined efforts towards that end.
“The China visit will focus on further strengthening Nepal-China relations and issues of bilateral interests,” sources said.
The experts and political leaders advised the Prime Minister to move forward only deliverable and viable projects during his visit to China.
They suggested the Prime Minister to make the visit meaningful by addressing the concerns of China, according to Foreign Minister N.P. Saud.
They also advised the Prime Minister to direct his visit towards further consolidating the close relations existing between Nepal and China.
Prachanda will leave for an official visit to the US and China on September 16. He will travel to the US first, where he will attend the 78th United Nations General Assembly. After spending five days in the US, Prachanda will fly directly to Beijing.
Prachanda’s visit to China is a bid by the senior Maoist leader to strike a balance in relations with China and India.
China has been actively investing in Nepal in many infrastructure projects.