Nepal | August 10, 2020

Chinese PM seeks assurance to execute bilateral deals with Nepal

Lekhanath Pandey
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Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Li Keqiang

Nepal Premier’s special envoy Krishna Bahadur Mahara (left) shakes hands with China’s Premier Li Keqiang ahead of a meeting in Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing, China, on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Photo: Wu Hong via AP

Kathmandu, August 17

China has sought Nepal’s commitment to execute a slew of deals that were sealed between the two countries during a visit of the then prime minister KP Sharma Oli to Beijing in March.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang wanted to know if the Nepali side was serious about implementing a number of bilateral agreements when he received Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s special emissary Krishna Bahadur Mahara in Beijing today.

“We believe the Nepali side will give due priority and continuation to the agreements that were signed earlier,” Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Nepal to China Harish Chandra Ghimire quoted Premier Li as telling Mahara.

“We will also give due priority to its implementation.”

Since the fall of the KP Sharma Oli-led government earlier this month, clouds of uncertainty have been hovering over the fate of these deals. Deputy PM and Finance Minister Mahara flew to China on Monday with a message of PM Dahal’s full commitment to execute bilateral agreements.

The two countries had sealed a number of agreements on using northern neighbour’s sea port facility, building a regional international airport in Pokhara and exploring the possibilities of signing a bilateral free-trade agreement and finding oil and gas reserves in Nepal.

“The premier assured the visiting deputy prime minister about China’s willingness to extend all possible cooperation to Nepal, saying that China and Nepal have always developed pragmatic relations,” read a statement issued by the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing.

Mahara, on his part, assured that PM Dahal and his government attached great importance to Nepal-China relations and was ready to fully execute all bilateral deals and projects.

According to Ghimire, Li also expressed satisfaction with the formation of the new government in Nepal and said that change of guard is a domestic matter and it would not affect bilateral cooperation and Chinese support to Nepal.

The Chinese premier further stated the need to bring all those disgruntled factions on board, and to remain united for the stability and economic development of the country, Ghimire told The Himalayan Times.

Li also thanked Mahara for the invitation extended to him and Chinese President Xi to visit Nepal and said the foreign ministries of the two countries would stay in touch for necessary cooperation in this regard.

Mahara had extended the invitations via Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday.

President Xi is expected to visit Nepal in mid-October, when he is scheduled to attend a BRICS Summit in Goa, on October 15 and 16. However, the Chinese side has not confirmed the Nepal visit yet.

A version of this article appears in print on August 18, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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