High-level visits are positive but not enough: Experts

Published On: August 22, 2016 05:00 AM NPT By: Nabin Khatiwada

KATHMANDU, Aug 22: Former diplomats and international relations experts have said that possible visits by the Chinese and Indian presidents to Nepal would be positive events for this country. The visits of the two deputy prime ministers to the two neighboring countries as special envoys of the prime minister have ensured that the presidents of those two countries would visit Nepal in the near future, it is reported.

DPM Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who returned home after a five-day visit to China, claimed that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang would visit Nepal in the near future. Though the dates are yet to be finalised, Mahara said the ministries of foreign affairs of both countries will stay in touch to schedule the visits.

It is also reported that there will be three high-level visits between India and Nepal. DPM Bimalendra Nidhi is currently on a visit to India. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal will visit India by mid-September and there will be a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 16, it is stated. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will visit Nepal after Dahal's India visit and President Bidya Devi Bhandari will also visit India in a continuition  of the high level exchanges, it is further stated.

"In diplomacy it is good to have high-level exchanges," said Madhu Raman Acharya, former permanent representative of Nepal to the United Nations and ex-secretary at the Foreign Ministry.

Acharya said Nepal can expect something positive from high-level exchanges of visits. "The previous government inked various agreements and treaties with China. If the government gives continuity to these and is able to execute them during the visit of the Chinese president, it would not only foster development but also create an environment of sustainable consensus within the country," he said.

"From the high-level exchanges with India we can expect that relations that soured recently would return to normal," he said  adding that it was crucial to have good relations with neighbors during a time of constitution implementation.

Khadga KC, coordinator of the master's program in International Relations and Diplomacy at Tribhuvan University, also said that high-level exchanges with neighboring countries are a positive thing but added that the visits would be considered a success only if Nepal could further its agenda of national interests.

"The high-level exchanges will be successful only if we can present the issues of national integrity, independence and sovereignty with priority. We should be able to establish our agenda," said KC.   

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