No military alliance under IPS or BIMSTEC: Dahal

Ilam, September 14

Former prime minister and Nepal Communist Party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal today clarified that Nepal couldn’t be part of any military alliance — neither the Indo-Pacific Strategy nor the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation.

Interacting with local journalists in Ilam, Dahal said he had conveyed a message to visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Kathmandu that Nepal was fully committed to the one-China policy and would not allow any external force to engage in anti-China activities in Nepal.

“Nepal won’t join any military alliance be it the IPS or BIMSTEC due to its policy of non-alignment,” Dahal said.

Dahal’s clarification comes at a time when the Embassy of the United States had sought the government’s clarification on a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement that said Nepal disagreed with the Indo-Pacific Strategy. “Neither the Department of State nor the US Ambassador officially asked the government for clarification on the IPS issue,” Dahal said, adding that China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had also not issued any statement in this regard. A US government employee reacted to an IPS issue which was picked up by a media outlet, Dahal added. “There was no official government reaction from the US or China.” During Yi’s visit, the PM and foreign minister also communicated that Nepal, as an independent country, firmly adhered to the non-aligned policy, Dahal said.

“Based on the country’s foreign policy, I also spoke the same thing about Venezuela and Cuba in the past,” he said, adding it was not true that the issues of Cuba or Venezuela were raised to weaken Nepal-US ties.

As there has never been any deviation or change in the country’s existing foreign policy, Nepal always deals carefully with neighbours and other friendly countries, according to Dahal.

The NCP co-chair also claimed that the recent government-level agreements with friendly neighbours had uplifted the country’s status. “We have been transformed from land-locked to land-linked nation,” Dahal stated.