Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 8 July 2022) – Former Prime Minister and President of the Nepal Communist Party (Unified Marxist and Leninist), KP Sharma Oli, has stated that amid the changing international order, Nepal should proceed carefully by advancing genuine national interests and defending sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Addressing a meeting of the party’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) at party headquarters, Chysal on Thursday, Oli stated that Nepal should not compromise its national interests while strengthening ties with its neighbors and extended neighbors. He claims that the CPN-UML is the only party in Nepal that has maintained equal proximity, rather than equal distance, to all sovereign states.
“Amity with all, enmity with none” is the major foundation of our foreign policy. We cannot afford the enmity. We can build a partnership on the basis of mutual respect and benefit, “he said.
Referring to the issue of the Russia-Ukraine war and Nepal’s favoritism towards Ukraine, Oli criticized the government and ruling alliance for going against the principled stand of “non-alignment.”
“Our neighbors remained silent.” China and India both remained silent. They did not vote in the UN. However, Nepal spoke in favor of Ukraine and voted against Russia, which contradicts Nepal’s identity as an active member of the non-alignment movement, according to the former Prime Minister.
President Oli, who served as Nepal’s Prime Minister three times in extremely tough internal and external circumstances, never jeopardized Nepal’s national interests while preserving goodwill with China, India, and other big countries. Foreign policy analysts noted that during Oli’s premiership, there was a significant shift in Nepal’s foreign policy that prioritized national interests.
During the meeting, Oli urged the Chief and members of the department to engage in foreign policy debates with Nepal’s principled position of non-alignment and neutrality, in order to persuade internal and external players. He emphasized that Nepal will not allow any country to utilize its territory against its neighbors, and that the country will not play neighborhood cards against each other.
“There has been an increase in geopolitical rivalry.” Similarly, global powers have been more polarized.” Nepal, on the other hand, should not associate with any power. “The only thing Nepal should keep in mind is its national interest,” he said, adding, “Sovereign equality is the only right approach to building and maintaining relations with the sovereign nations.”
During Oli’s first term as Prime Minister, Nepal inked a landmark Transport Transit Agreement (TTA) with China, thereby ending India’s monopoly in international trade. Later, when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Nepal in 2019, which was a significant for Nepal, he said that he would help Nepal’s transition from a landlocked to a land-linked nation.
Dr. Rajan Bhattari, the department’s chief and a member of the party’s standing committee, presented the department’s working plan for 2079 during the meeting. The meeting approved the plan. The CPN-UML will convene a series of meetings and talks with the main parties and other relevant organizations to develop a unified foreign policy.