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Ambassadors' conference postponed

  

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU:The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has postponed the scheduled conference of Nepali Ambassadors serving abroad due to financial constraints created by the issuance of only a partial budget this fiscal.

MoFA had planned to hold a three-day conference of all its ambassadors, permanent representatives and consul generals serving its 32 diplomatic outposts abroad, in Kathmandu in the first week of December.

To organise the conference and arrange the two-way airfare of 32 envoys, MoFA had asked the Ministry of Finance a tentative budget of Rs 72 lakhs. However, as only a partial budget had been issued without any new programme and project, MoFA could not host the function.

“Right now, we couldn’t organise the ambassador’s conference,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha told THT. “We will organise this at a convenient time.”

MoFA had planned the conference to take stock of prospects and problems that envoys face in their work and to hone in on Nepal’s diplomatic approach. “The conference was for honing in on our diplomatic approach and outlook,” Shrestha said.

Meanwhile, a MoFA source told THT that the ministry’s plan to open up five new diplomatic missions in various countries also couldn’t materialise this fiscal, due to budget constraints.

Earlier this year, the Cabinet had approved opening up embassies in Oman, Bahrain and Spain and a consulate in Jeddah of Saudi Arabia and Guangzhou of China. As much as Rs 50 million is required to open a new embassy, where as a consulate can be set up with around Rs 40 million.

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