Nepal and the United States met for their bilateral consultative meeting on December 19, 2018, after a long gap of 17 years!
In a high-level meeting, Nepali Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and the US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo agreed to take Nepal-US bilateral ties to the next level.
“Nepal and the United States of America have agreed to widen and deepen seven-decades long partnership to take their relationship to the next level,” the Nepali Embassy in Washington DC said in an official release.
During the discussion, the two sides focused on all issues pertaining to bilateral relations and cooperation.
Gyawali highlighted Nepal’s long-standing wish to graduate from the level of a Least Developed Country (LDC) to a middle-income nation by 2030.
The duo stressed on the early implementation of Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact to reap the benefits. It is noteworthy here that US has already offered USD 500 million in grant under the program for Nepal’s energy and transport network.
The two sides discussed ways to enhance political relationship through regular exchange of visits and encouraging economic cooperation with key focus on trade and investment, the Embassy informed.
Prior to the ministerial-level meeting, the two countries had a political consultation meeting at the State Department, co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi and Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice G. Wells.
Other key areas discussed part of the consultation meeting include: Nepal’s policies and development priorities, peace process, implementing bilateral agreements along with other matters pertaining to local and global affairs.
Gyawali’s US visit gains significance in view of the fact that the US’ willingness to enter into ‘strategic partnership’ as part of its ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’.
On the side-lines of the visit, Gyawali is also holding meetings with the CEO of MCC along with senior officials from office of the US Secretary of Defense and National Security Council on November 19, 2018.
Nepali delegation to US includes Nepali Ambassador to US Arjun Kumar Karki, Joint Secretary at Nepal Ministry of Finance Shreekrishna Nepal, Joint Secretary at Nepal Home Ministry Mahadev Panth along with officials from Nepali Foreign Ministry and Nepali Embassy of Nepal in Washington DC.