Nepal, China FMs’ meet boosts mutual confidence

Rekha Shrestha

Kathmandu, March 31:

The meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramesh Nath Pandey and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Li Zhaoxing, that were held today is said to have enhanced political understanding between the two countries.

“Every incident has enhanced mutual confidence,” said Minister Pandey. He added that his meeting with Li has been “substantially fruitful for better political understanding, bilateral relations and economic enhancement” with the northern neighbour.

Likewise, the Chinese minister expressed that the meeting was significant in further “promoting cooperation.” Asked about cooperation on the security front, Li diverted media persons by saying that they discussed some “reforms in the UN Security Council.”

Pandey was tight-lipped when asked whether he had discussed with his Chinese counterpart about Beijing assisting Nepal by supplying arms and ammunition in the wake of new political scenario. The possibility of purchasing arms and ammunition from China has emerged, especially after the UK and the Indian government have stopped military supplies to Nepal, citing the King’s proclamation of February 1 as a “major setback” to democracy.

Earlier, at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) upon his arrival, Li said that he was happy to be in Nepal at this crucial time. “I hope my visit will further enhance and promote friendship and mutual interests,” he told journalists.

Apart from holding one-to-one meeting, the two ministers leading their respective delegations also held official discussion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The delegations exchanged views on the bilateral relations existing between Nepal and China, and discussed matters of mutual interest including the promotion of economic cooperation, trade and tourism.

They also exchanged views on celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, progress on projects jointly undertaken under the economic cooperation, cooperation in the fields of culture, human resources development and science and technology, and mutually beneficial exchanges between Nepal and Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

Also exchanged today was “Notes on sending a Chinese study team to Nepal for the feasibility-study of the Conservation Research Centre for the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation”.

Foreign secretary Madhu Raman Acharya and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Sun Heping signed the Notes on behalf of their respective governments in the presence of the two foreign ministers. King Gyanendra granted audience to Li at Royal palace in the evening, and the foreign minister Pandey hosted a dinner in honour of the Chinese guest. Li came to Kathmandu by a special aircraft of Air China Business Jet and will leave tomorrow afternoon.