Nepal Foreign Affairs (Kathmandu, Dec 17)–Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa held a meeting with his British counterpart Philip Hammond, MP at the latter’s office in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on Wednesday.
The two sides exchanged views on the current situation in Nepal and on the occasion being organized by Nepal and UK to mark the bicentenary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
During the meeting, the foreign minister briefed the British Foreign Minister on Nepal’s current political situation, including the promulgation of the new constitution and the difficulties being faced with the disruption of supplies of fuel and other essential commodities at Nepal-India border check points.
On the occasion Thapa raised the issue of the British Gurkhas and requested the British Government for solution of the problem on the basis of equality, including through the implementation of the recommendations contained in the parliamentary report of Jackie-Doyle Price.
He also talked about the early release of Kumar Lama, ex-Officer in Nepal Army, especially in the context of the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Nepal.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond welcomed the adoption of the new constitution in Nepal and cited it as a milestone in Nepal’s history, assured of British support in the development process of Nepal, the press release said.
Expressing his concern about the disruption of the supplies at the Nepal-India border checkpoints, the British Minister expressed his hope that the problem would be resolved soon, during the meeting.
On the problems of British Gurkhas, he said that the British Government would make the best possible efforts, on the basis of report of Jackie-Doyle Price, for the solution of the problem, the press release said.
Earlier Deputy Prime Minster Thapa and Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Hugo Swire exchanged views on various aspects of Nepal-UK relations in the context of the ongoing celebrations of bicentenary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Later in the evening, Deputy Prime Minister Thapa attended the special Bicentenary reception hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and addressed the gathering highlighting the historically close relations between the two countries.
Deputy Prime Minister Thapa appreciated British development cooperation to Nepal as a major international partner and its continued support to Nepal’s democratic political process.
Minister Thapa also had a meeting with the Desmond Swayne, Minister of State at the Department for International Development (DFID).
During the meeting, the duo discussed about ongoing development cooperation between the two countries, especially, in the context of Nepal’s ongoing humanitarian situation and Government’s reconstruction plans, the MoFA release further said.
The DFID Minister urged the British Government to enhance its support and cooperation in the context of the adoption of the National Reconstruction Authority Bill to expedite the post-earthquake reconstruction. On the same occasion, the two sides also exchanged views on DIFID’s next five-year development cooperation programs and priorities in Nepal of DIFID for the period of 2016-2021.
Deputy Prime Minister Thapa also held an interactive meeting with the members of the Nepal-UK All Party Parliamentary Group led by its Chairman Birendra Sharma MP and participated in discussions on various aspects of Nepal-UK relations, including the issue of the remaining grievances of the British Gurkhas, the MoFA release added.