Kathmandu, January 23
US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken has suggested to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli not to any take unilateral step while resolving the country’s political crisis.
During a telephonic conversation with PM Oli late yesterday, he also urged the latter to take concrete steps to resolve the political impasse and stressed the importance of compromise from all sides to find a solution.
“The Deputy Secretary urged PM Oli to represent the interests of all Nepalis and take concrete steps to resolve the political impasse, emphasising the importance of all sides working towards a compromise and not taking unilateral steps,” a US State Department’s release quoted Blinken as saying.
The prime minister’s Chief Adviser Bishnu Rimal said the conversation dwelt on the current political situation in the Tarai and efforts made for post-earthquake reconstruction.
However, Rimalfell short of giving any information about Prime Minister Oli’s response to the US Deputy Secretary’s queries and concerns.
“This was a one-on-one conversation,” he told The Himalayan Times. “We are yet to know from PM Oli what he told the US official.” The PM’s foreign relations expert Gopal Khanal also saidd the same thing
A source close to PM Oli, however, expressed surprise at Blinken’s advice as US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B Teplitz had earlier said that her government would back the constitutional amendment process initiated by the government.
Neither the Office of the Prime Minister nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially spoken anything about PM Oli’s version of the conversation. What has been cited is the statement issued by the US Department of State, which is solely confined to what Blinken told Nepal’s prime minister.
According to the statement, Deputy Secretary Blinken further urged the Nepali authorities to exercise restraint in responding to protests.
It can be recalled that at least three protesters, including an elderly woman, were killed in Rangeli of Morang District on Thursday.
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 that earthquake reconstruction efforts are efficient, transparent, and inclusive,” the statement said.
Blinken is the second highest ranking officer of the US Department of State after Secretary of State John Kerry. He assists 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.
A version of this article appears in print on January 24, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.