Jakarta Globe, Feb. 7 (Indonesia)–The government of Nepal has appointed a businessman from West Sumatra as its consul general in Indonesia, seeking to strengthen ties with the island nation and its neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
In a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Saturday, Nepal’s ambassador to Indonesia Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat, who was assigned to the post on Feb. 3, announced his appointment of Belly Saputra Datuk Janosati, a property developer from West Sumatra, to help foster the relationship between the two countries. Ambassador Basnyat will be stationed in Malaysia.
Belly is the owner of property company Riyadh Group Indonesia, whose portfolio has included hotels as well as high-rise buildings in Padang, West Sumatra, and Batam in the Riau Islands.
“Based on the 1963 Vienna Convention [on Consular Relations], countries that do not have ambassadors are allowed to appoint a consul for their country, who will be responsible for facilitating visits between the two countries, whether from Indonesia to Nepal or vice versa,” Basnyat said in the statement. “We will start the appointment process in the Nepal Embassy.”
He added that the consul would have similar duties as an ambassador, including the responsibility to facilitate trade, education and public affairs on behalf of Nepal in Indonesia.
The move is part of Nepal’s larger goal to strengthen ties between itself and Indonesia, according to Basnyat. Another strategy he will pursue to improve relations between the two Asian countries is by promoting direct flights between Nepal and Indonesia, he added.
“There are at least four flights daily from Malaysia to Nepal. This shows that having direct flights from Nepal to Indonesia will enable Nepalis to visit Indonesia,” Basnyat said.
He also made an appeal to the Indonesian government to re-establish its embassy in Nepal, noting that since Indonesia moved its embassy to Bangladesh from Nepal in 1967, Nepali officials have had a hard time maintaining diplomatic relations with Indonesia.
“It would be great to have an embassy in Nepal, because it would bring the two countries closer, especially since the Asean secretariat is located in Indonesia” and the secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is located in Nepal, he said. “The embassy would foster the relationship between the two regions, Southeast Asia and South Asia.”