British PM Sunak praises Nepali community, Gurkhas at Nepal-Britain Friendship Treaty centennial

Published On: May 21, 2024 08:46 AM NPT By: Chiran Sharma  | @chiranuk

LONDON, May 21: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak addressed the Nepali community during a special ceremony on Monday at the British Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, marking the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Nepal and Britain. 

A copy of the original treaty signed at Singha Durbar in Kathmandu was displayed at the event, reads a press statement issued by the British Embassy in Kathmandu. 

Addressing the program, Sunak highlighted various dimensions of the historical relationship between Nepal and the UK, recalling the past visit of British King Charles to Nepal. He expressed admiration for the achievements of the Nepali diaspora in Britain.

“There is so much that brings us together. From His Majesty King Charles trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas as a young Prince, to our academic alliances, to the huge contribution that the Nepali diaspora makes here in the UK, even getting to the finals of MasterChef,” the statement quoted Sunak as saying. 

He also acknowledged the incredible contribution made by Gurkhas. “Their service is a reminder of the deep ties between our two nations and a promise that those ties will continue to endure”. 

British PM Sunak also emphasized the future potential for increased economic relations between Britain and Nepal, particularly in trade, investment, and climate change cooperation.

The Ambassador of Nepal to the UK, Gyan Chandra Acharya, said that the 1923 Treaty of Friendship bolstered Nepal's presence in the international arena and promoted international relations.

Highlighting Nepal's social and political progress, he acknowledged the support provided by Britain in Nepal's development. Acharya expressed his belief that Nepal-UK bilateral relations will expand and strengthen in the coming century.

British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anne-Marie Trevelyan reaffirmed the UK's commitment to supporting Nepal's development efforts and enhancing economic relations to help Nepal achieve its goal of becoming a middle-income country.

The event was attended by notable figures including Jiba Lamichhane, former president of the Non-Resident Nepali Association, artist Manisha Koirala, NRNA Vice President Dr. Hem Raj Sharma, Ram Sharan Simkhada, Professor Surya Subedi, Dr. Padam Simkhada, mountaineer Hari Budha, as well as members of the Nepali community in various professions and businesses in Britain, ex-Gurkhas, British parliamentarians, high-ranking officials, and British friends of Nepal.

The Embassy of Nepal in London also organized a ceremony in coordination with the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1923 Treaty of Friendship between Nepal and the UK. To further celebrate the occasion, a special program was held in the hall where the treaty was signed on December 21, 1923, at the Prime Minister's Office in Nepal, Singha Durbar.

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