KATHMANDU, Nov 25: Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has urged his Australian counterpart to make arrangement for issuing Australian visas to Nepalis from Kathmandu.
During his meeting with Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop in Canberra on Thursday, Minister Dr Mahat made the request arguing that Nepali students and others are facing unnecessary hassles as Australian visas are currently issued from the Australian mission in New Delhi.
A large number of Nepali students travel to Australia for higher studies every year. The number of Nepali nationals travelling to Australia to meet their family members settled there and businessmen and tourists is also equally high.
According to census conducted in 2011, the number of Nepalese immigrants in Australia had reached to over 24,636. Over 12,000 Nepali students on an average are said to travel to Australia every year.
According to a press statement issued by the Nepali embassy in Canberra on Thursday, Minister Mahat also held discussion on increasing development assistance to Nepal, resuming assistance that was cut earlier, increasing Australian investment in Nepal's energy, infrastructure and other potential areas with Minister Bishop.
On the occasion, Minister Mahat appreciated the Australian government and the people of Australia for their spontaneous support to the earthquake-affected people in the phase of rescue, recovery and relief operation.. He also thanked for the commitment made by the Australian government for the reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Nepal.
According to the press statement, Australian Minister Bishop expressed willingness of Australia to enhance investment in the energy sector in Nepal. “Both the ministers exchanged their views in enhancing the level of interaction through exchange of bilateral visits,” it read.
Minister Mahat, who reached Australia on Wednesday, also held meeting with Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific. The duos held discussion on issues related to future cooperation between Nepal and Australia, issue of Bhutanese refugees and the matter pertaining to sharing Nepal's experience in disaster management.
Among others, Minister Mahat also held meeting with the leader of the opposition in the senate and shadow minister for foreign affairs Mark Butler, National President of Australian Labor Party and Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Mark Dreyfus, Shadow Minister for National Security Chris Bowen, Shadow Treasurer Shane Neumann, and Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection in the parliament on Thursday.