Austrian minister to visit Nepal

Kathmandu, January 28

Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissl is making an official visit to Nepal from February 21 to 23 at the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali.

This is the first high-level visit to Nepal from Austria in 29 years. The then Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alois Mock had paid an official visit to Nepal from February 9 to 11 in 1990.

Gyawali had extended an invitation to Kneissl during his visit to Austria in September last year. Kneissl accepted Gyawali’s invitation to visit Nepal during her upcoming South Asia tour, sources said.

Nepal and Austria will hold official bilateral talks on February 22, which will mainly focus on bilateral relations, grant and assistance and cooperation, sources said. Austria is incumbent president of the Council of the European Union. On 1 July  2018, Austria took over the presidency of the Council of the EU for the third time after 1998 and 2006.

Austria has provided financial assistance for various development projects in Nepal. The key areas of development cooperation involves hydroelectricity, conservation of ancient temples, drinking water and eco-tourism development.

Namche Small Hydro Electric Project, Patan Museum, Keshar Mahal Garden of Dreams and Rolwaling eco-tourism are some of the projects completed under Austrian Cooperation, according to the official MoFA website.

A number of famous Austrian climbers have scaled the Himalayan peaks of Nepal.