KATHMANDU, March 18: Newly-appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali informed that the government has started preparations to ensure Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping visit Nepal in 2018.
Speaking at a press conference at Reporter's Club on Saturday, Foreign Minister Gyawali said, “In 2018, Indian Prime Minister Modi as well as Chinese President Xi will visit Nepal. Similarly, high-level visits will also take place from Nepal. So, this year will be important for Nepal in terms of international relations as high-level bilateral exchanges are likely to take place.”
He said that the government has initiated necessary preparations to invite head of states from both neighboring countries to visit Nepal within this year.
“Chinese President Xi was supposed to visit Nepal in 2016. But due to frequent government changes, his visit couldn't materialize. This year, high-level exchanges will take place from other countries like USA, United Kingdom and Japan,” he added.
Likewise, he also informed that the government is making necessary preparations for foreign trip of Prime Minister KP Oli. “PM will make foreign trip soon and we are making necessary preparations to that end. But we are yet to decide from which country PM will begin his foreign visit. It can be from India, China or any other country,” he said when asked if PM Oli will begin his foreign trip from India.
He said that the government will pursue balanced relations with both the immediate neighbors and seek economic benefits from the booming economies of both India and China.
He also said that the government will make necessary efforts to hold the SAARC Summit. During his official visit to Nepal recently, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had requested Nepal as the chair of SAARC to help revitalize the SAARC Summit, which has been shelved for indefinite period.