KATHMANDU, Dec 14: Nepal and France have held the first meeting of a Bilateral Political Consultation Mechanism after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect amidst a special function held in Kathmandu on Thursday.
The MoU on establishing the mechanism at the level of foreign ministries between the two countries has been signed with a view to reviewing the bilateral relations and sharing views on regional and international issues of common concerns on a regular basis, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Joint Secretary at MoFA, Nirmal Kafle and French Ambassador to Nepal Francois Xavier Lager signed the MoU on behalf of their countries. The MoU signing ceremony was witnessed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and the Nepali and French delegates to the first meeting of the mechanism.
Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi and Director for Asia and Oceania of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Thierry Mathou led their respective delegations to the meeting. The two sides took stock of all aspects of bilateral relations and exchanged views on further promoting cooperation between the two countries.
A statement issued by MoFA said the two sides discussed various ways and means of enhancing economic partnership, including in the areas of trade, tourism and investment, and promoting people-to-people contacts. Nepal requested the French side to encourage its private sector to explore opportunities in the Nepali market given the political stability, policy and institutional reforms and a business-friendly environment created in the country.
The French side stressed the need for enhancing Nepal's competitive edge, including through branding its organic products. It also agreed to provide cooperation toward making the Visit Nepal Year 2020 a success.
Matters of regional and international importance were also discussed during the meeting. The two ministries agreed to further engage in several issues of common interest such as Climate Change and the UN Peacekeeping. With regard to the upcoming Sagarmatha Sambaad, France will positively consider its meaningful participation in this international dialogue dedicated to important issues of Climate Change and its effects on mountains, according to the press statement.