September 25, 2017
As part of his visit to UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York, Prime Minister Deuba held separate bilateral discussions with his counterparts from various countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on Thursday.
According to the Nepali Permanent Mission in New York, matters related to common bilateral and international interests were discussed in Deuba’s discussions with the government representatives of various countries.
In a meeting with Deuba, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed emphasized the need for enhancement of transport connectivity and utilization of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) framework. Both the sides also discussed energy cooperation through joint investment in Nepali hydropower sector.
Deuba’s discussions with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena focused on strengthening bilateral cooperation through historic and religious linkages.
Recalling 60 years of Nepal-Sri Lanka bilateral ties, Deuba and Sirisena discussed cooperation in trade, tourism and economic sectors.
Calling for the early holding of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, Nepal called for deeper cooperation among SAARC members.
Post the UNGA session, Nepali Prime Minister participated in a student session at the Columbia University, New York, wherein, he responded on various key issues.
In his response to queries on geopolitical relations of Nepal, Deuba said that Nepal’s geopolitical relations are being dictated by the regional realities.
He also reiterated that ties with India and China are of national interest to Nepal.
On the issue of Rohingya refugees in Nepal, Deuba said, “We cannot afford more refugees in Nepal unfortunately. We are still facing refugee problems because Bhutanese refuges are there. There are a few Rohingya in Nepal. We can’t welcome more. We have limitations. I think the Myanmar Government can deal with this problem.”
With regard to forming of the largest-ever cabinet, Deuba hinted at the chances of further cabinet expansion.
Informing that the Nepali Constitution allows up to 10 percent of the total number of parliamentarians in the cabinet, he said the parliament currently has 595 lawmakers and the cabinet size can go up to 60 as per the existing law.