Kathmandu, November 25
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali today held delegation-level bilateral talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia.
In the meeting, the two ministers exchanged views on various aspects of bilateral relations between Nepal and Russia.
They underscored the importance of exchange of high-level visits, including judicial, parliamentary and business exchanges.
Minister Gyawali handed over an invitation of President of Nepal Bidhya Bhandari to Russian President Vladimir Putin to pay a state visit to Nepal.
He also handed over invitation of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to the Russian PM Dimitry Medvedev.
In the meeting, Lavrov said Gyawali’s visit was important in view of the gap of 14 years since the last visit from the Nepali side.
Gyawali stated this visit was an indication of the importance Nepal attached to its friendship with the Russian Federation, particularly in the fundamentally changed national context, according to a statement issued today by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The ministers agreed to harness the immense potential to enlarge the scope and enrich the substance of bilateral cooperation, especially in the areas of investment, trade, tourism, education, energy, infrastructure development, and culture and people-to-people relations.
The two sides underlined the need to build a strong economic partnership commensurate with the bond of friendship they have been cherishing since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1956.
They agreed to explore ways and means for enhancing economic and trade relations for mutual benefit.
Through his Russian counterpart, Minister Gyawali encouraged Russian entrepreneurs to invest in Nepal in view of an investment-friendly environment.
Nepal acknowledged with thanks the Russian cooperation in many areas, ranging from post-disaster support of 2015 to human resources development, infrastructure development and cultural cooperation.
In the context of Visit Nepal Year 2020, Nepal also invited more Russian visitors to the country.
The two leaders also shared their perspectives on important global agendas, including maintenance of international peace and security, disarmament and peacekeeping. They expressed commitment to multilateralism and centrality of the United Nations in dealing with international issues.
Stating that the agenda of climate change was high on the agenda of both the countries, Gyawal invited Lavrov to participate in the Sagarmatha Sambaad to be organised in Kathmandu in April next year.
The two ministers also shared their views on regional cooperation. Nepal is currently a ‘dialogue partner’ of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and hopes to connect with Central Asia and beyond through its framework of cooperation.
The Russian Federation, as the Organisation’s founding member, expressed its readiness to extend cooperation within the scope of the organisation.
Present on the Nepali side during the meeting were Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, Ambassador of Nepal to Russia Rishi Ram Ghimire, MoFA Joint Secretary Nirmal Raj Kafle and other officials of the foreign ministry and the Embassy of Nepal in Moscow.
The Russian foreign minister was accompanied by Igor Morgulov, deputy foreign minister, Director Zamir Kabulov, Deputy Director Alexy Dedov and other Russian officials.
Following official talks, the two ministers briefed the media on major highlights and outcomes of the meeting as well as their priorities ahead.
The questions raised by journalists after the media briefing were fielded by the ministers.
Lavrov hosted an official luncheon in honour of Gyawali and his delegation.
Gyawali arrived in Moscow yesterday. Last evening, the Non-Resident Nepali Association, Russia, organised a reception to welcome the Nepali delegation.
Speaking with NRNA representatives, Gyawali appreciated the active role being played by the Nepali diaspora in Russia for the promotion of trade, investment and people-to-people exchange.
He is scheduled to address the Institute of International Relations in Moscow on Nepal-Russia relations and cooperation tomorrow.
A version of this article appears in print on November 26, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.