KATHMANDU, Feb 1: Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Bimala Rai Paudyal has announced to finalize the draft of foreign policy prepared two years ago after holding consultations with the relevant stakeholders.
Addressing a group of journalists at her office on Wednesday, Minister Dr Paudyal said that the foreign policy draft will be finalized after making sure that it reflects the changed context around the world.
“There is a need to reflect on the foreign policy draft prepared two years ago. I think that this may need to be revised to make it compatible with the changed context now,” she said. “We will have a consultation meeting reflecting on this thing.”
The remarks of Dr Paudyal come in the wake of criticisms against the government for failing to implement the foreign policy introduced by then Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali two years ago. In her first interaction with journalists covering foreign affairs on Wednesday, Minister Paudyal said that she is committed to implement the new foreign policy after finalizing it through consultations.
On the occasion, Minister Dr Paudyal also highlighted her immediate priority of actions. While stating that efforts are underway to ease the distribution of passports, she also expressed commitment to ensure free flow of information to the media on the major activities or achievements made by her ministry.
Minister Dr Paudyal announced that her ministry is preparing to send a mobile team to Portugal where a large number of Nepali nationals are having problems obtaining new Nepali passports. No decision has been made whether to send such a team from the nearest Nepali embassy or from Kathmandu.
Minister Dr Paudyal is leaving for Sri Lanka on Thursday to participate in the 75th Independence Day functions as an honored guest in Colombo on February 3-4. In Colombo, Minister Paudyal is scheduled to attend the 75th Independence Day Celebration functions to be organized at Galle Face Green, pay courtesy calls on the president and the prime minister of Sri Lanka, and attend a reception hosted by the president of Sri Lanka at the President’s House on February 4.
Minister Dr Paudyal said she will hold informal discussions with her counterpart from other South Asian countries to help revive the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The regional cooperation organization is almost defunct as it has failed to convene its summit after 2014 due to political tension between India and Pakistan.