KATHMANDU, Nov 26: Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said that Nepal and Russia are agreed to take the bilateral ties to the next level through enhanced political engagement and promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation in diverse fields.
Gyawali, who is currently paying an official visit to Russia, made the remarks on Tuesday during a reception held at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
"The objective of my visit this time, in my capacity as Foreign Minister of Nepal, has been to bolster trust, deepen political understanding, promote economic, commercial and cultural ties and strengthen collaboration in dealing with regional and global issues of common concern," he said.
Mentioning about his official talks with Russian counterpart Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov on Monday, Gyawali said that they exchanged substantive views on a wide range of topics.
"We agreed to work together to take our relations to the next level through enhanced political engagement and promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation in diverse fields. We underlined the importance of exchanging high level visits between the two countries, activating established bilateral consultation mechanism and concluding a host of agreements and understanding to further cooperative partnership," he said.
However, he did not indicate any possibility of high-level visits from Russia to Nepal in near future.
Gyawali said that he was satisfied with the outcome of our discussions and our consensus on the road ahead to realize the full potential of our mutual cooperation.
"We greatly value the continued dialogue and exchange by engaging all walks of life and different sectors of development. I offer my sincere appreciation to you all for playing an active role in strengthening multi-faceted ties that exist between Nepal and the Russian Federation," he added.
The foreign minister said that Nepal and the Russian Federation are good friends ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1956.
"Since then, we have maintained cordial and friendly relations. This year marks the 63rd anniversary of the establishment of formal ties. I would like to extend warm felicitations to all of you on this happy occasion,
Stating that Nepal greatly values the bond of friendship it enjoys with the Russian Federation, the foreign minister said that the bilateral ties between the two countries have progressively evolved over the years to cover political, economic, social, cultural and educational dimensions.
"It is a multidimensional partnership. Continued engagements at various levels and mutual cooperation in the areas of common interest have nurtured our friendship," he said adding "Parliamentary and judicial exchanges and frequent visits by high officials of both countries have contributed to widening the scope and enriching the substance of our relationship."
Talking about Nepal's journey from war to peace, the foreign minister said that the country is now moving forward to achieve prosperity.
Gyawali also highlighted Nepal's foreign policy priorities in his speech. "A clear sense of direction and commitment in the conduct of an independent and balanced foreign policy based on the notion of ‘amity with all, enmity with none’ has underpinned our worldview," he said.
Gyawali said that his visit is about Nepal’s commitment to reenergizing all aspects of multi-faceted Nepal-Russia friendship. He also commended the contributions made by Russia in international arena for ensuring peace around the world.
"It is encouraging to witness continued progress achieved by the Russian Federation over the decades. In the fields of technologies, infrastructure, innovation and research, the progress has been remarkable. The Government, people and the academic circle of Nepal greatly appreciate these and many other stellar achievements made by the Russian Federation," he said.
FM seeks Russian support to become full-fledged member of SCO
Stating that regional cooperation is one of the defining attributes of international relations today, Gyawali highlighted the importance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
"SCO is a new opportunity for institutionalizing a long-lasting environment for peace and prosperity in the region, and beyond," he said.
As a Dialogue Partner, Nepal has found SCO as an additional platform for engaging in mutually beneficial projects in wide areas including trade, transit, investment, energy, agriculture, small and medium enterprises and culture, he said.
"We are looking for a full-fledged membership of the organization to enhance our contribution. We are thankful to the Government of the Russian Federation that it was in Ufa, Russia, the decision to grant Nepal the dialogue partner status was taken," he said.
The minister also said Nepal wants to promote meaningful regional cooperation for the collective well-being of the people in the region.
"We attach importance to SAARC and BIMSTEC as principal vehicles for regional cooperation in our region. As I said earlier, we want to enhance our engagement in SCO. We are also pursuing the objective of sub-regional cooperation within the framework of BBIN-Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. We are also a member of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue," he said.