US official Antony Blinken calls up Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli to talk about reconstruction, political crisis

KATHMANDU: US Deputy Secretary of State Antony John Blinken held a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Friday evening.

According to Bishnu Rimal, the Prime Minister's chief political advisor, the two talked about the reconstruction of Nepal in the wake of April 25 earthquake, and the ongoing agitation in the Tarai-Madhes region and political crisis in Nepal.

The conversation lasted for about 10 minutes, according to Rimal.

 "Take concrete steps, not unilaterally"

Meanwhile, the US Department of State's Office of the Spokesperson issued a statement from Washington DC later in the evening, and said Deputy Secretary Blinken spoke with Nepali Prime Minister Oli via phone to discuss the political crisis in Nepal.

"Deputy Secretary urged Prime Minister Oli to represent the interests of all Nepalis and take concrete steps to resolve the political impasse, emphasising the importance of all sides working toward a compromise and not taking unilateral steps," the statement said.

Blinken further called for the Nepali authorities to exercise restraint in responding to protests, according to the statement.

He expressed the United States' readiness to help Nepal in its reconstruction efforts. "The Deputy Secretary  told Prime Minister Oli the United States stands ready to further partner with Nepal to ensure earthquake reconstruction efforts are efficient, transparent, and inclusive," the statement said.

Blinken serves as the principal deputy, advis0r, and alter ego to the Secretary of State. He assists the Secretary of State, John Kerry, in the formulation and conduct of US foreign policy and in giving general supervision and direction to all elements of the Department, according to the US Department of State's website.