KATHMANDU, Jan 8: The government has appointed Amrit Bahadur Rai as Nepal's Permanent Representative to United Nations in New York.
Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali confirmed Republica Online that Monday's Cabinet meeting decided to appoint Rai as ambassador and Nepal's PR to United Nations in New York. New York is considered a crucial diplomatic post which had been lying vacant since the then Nepal's Permanent Representative Durga Prasad Bhattarai returned after the government asked him to come back home following completion of his extended tenure.
Rai is a career diplomat. He was recalled by the government recently, who had been serving as Nepalese ambassador to South Africa since December 2014.
Although the recent ambassadorial nominations appear to have honored seniority, it is conspicuous why the top political leadership chose to exclude the senior-most joint secretary working at the ministry in Kathmandu, Bharat Raj Paudyal, for ambassadorial appointment. Paudyal is currently the spokesperson at the ministry.
MoFA faces crunch of joint secretaries
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will face the crunch of joint secretaries in coming months as most of the joint secretaries have been picked as ambassadors to various countries.
Two weeks ago, the government had recommended ambassadors from among career diplomats to various five countries including Thailand, Switzerland, Canada, France and Kuwait.
Joint Secretaries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Ganesh Prasad Dhakal has been recommended for ambassador to Thailand, Mani Prasad Bhattarai to Switzerland, Bhrigu Dhungana to Canada, Dipak Adhikari to France, and Durga Prasad Bhandari were recommended for ambassador to Kuwait.
The same Cabinet meeting had also decided to recall Nepali ambassadors to South Korea, Spain and Bangladesh appointed by the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba-led cabinet. Those recalled were Arjun Jung Bahadur Singh from South Korea, Bharat Bahadur Rayamajhi from Spain, and Prof Dr Chop Lal Bhushal from Bangladesh.