KATHMANDU, April 13: In the wake of rising coronavirus cases in the country, Nepal government has expressed its interest to sign government to government (G2G) deal with northern neighbor China for the purchase of essential medicines and equipment.
On behalf of the government, Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali made such a request to the Chinese government during his telephone conversation with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Monday, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"In this context, Foreign Minister Gyawali shared the initiatives taken by the Government of Nepal to fight against coronavirus, including the need for expanding rapidly the testing facilities across the country. Gyawali requested for Government of China’s cooperation and facilitation for the purchase of essential medicines and medical equipment on G-to-G basis," read a press release issued by the MoFA late Monday.
In response, Foreign Minister Yi assured of China’s cooperation and necessary facilitation for the purchase of medicines and medical equipment to Nepal, the ministry stated in the press release.
Gyawali's telephone conversation with Chinese counterpart comes a week after the government wrote to five countries including China through diplomatic channels for the purchase of essential medicines and medical equipment on G-to-G basis. The five countries are China, India, South Korea, Israel and Singapore, according to a senior official at MoFA. However, the government has yet to get formal response from the aforementioned countries on its request to reach the G2G deal for the purchase of medical equipment and medicines.
During their today's conversation, the Nepali and Chinese foreign ministers shared views on the ongoing measures taken by their respective governments in the fight against Covid-19, according to the ministry.
Foreign Minister Gyawali appreciated China’s resolute efforts in containing and controlling the Covid-19 in China and in supporting the countries in need in their fight against the pandemic, said the ministry.
"On his part, foreign minister Yi appreciated Nepal government’s swift and firm actions in containing the spread of the virus and assured of China’s cooperation in this regard," read the press release.
Gyawali appreciated the spontaneous assistance of medical logistics provided to Nepal by the government of China, provincial governments and other philanthropic and social organizations.
"He also conveyed appreciation to the government of China for the cooperation provided during the repatriation of Nepali students from Wuhan and for the protection and care of Nepali nationals currently living in China. He assured necessary welfare and care of Chinese nationals currently in Nepal," the ministry said.
Minister Gyawali expressed gratitude to China for agreeing to reopen Nepal-China border ports—Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi— to facilitate the smooth supply of medical logistics and essential items of daily necessities into Nepal.
FM Gyawali also shared the initiatives taken by the Government of Nepal to fight against coronavirus, including the need for expanding rapidly the testing facilities across the country.
Appreciating the telephone call by Foreign Minister Gyawali, the Chinese foreign minister who is also state councilor thanked for the solidarity and support extended to the people and government of China during the coronavirus epidemic.
"The two foreign ministers expressed satisfaction on the excellent state of bilateral relations and agreed to work together to further strengthen these relations in the days to come," read the press release.