News Digest: International Relations & Foreign Affairs (December 30, 2021 – January 5, 2022)

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Minister for Energy, Water Resource, and Irrigation Pamha Bhusal has a courtesy meeting with the Secretary-General of the BIMSTEC Tenzing Lekfel. During the meeting, Lekfel stressed the need for all member states to advance the energy sector issues passed by the BIMSTEC conference. He said that the Government of Nepal should pay attention to the energy master plan agreed upon in 2018 BS as it would benefit the member countries. Minister Bhusal responded, saying the use of and promotion of BIMSTEC level hydropower are interrelated, and she is ready to do the needful. She assured that the Energy Ministerial meeting would be held soon.

The parliament’s International Relations Committee has formed a ‘Foreign Policy Study Sub-committee to study the overall foreign affairs of the country. The committee has created a five-member sub-committee under the coordination of UML MP Deepak Prakash Bhat. The sub-committee’s role is to provide suggestions and assistance to the new foreign policy, which the Foreign Minister devises. The sub-committee will also study all the issues from the organizational and structural shortcomings in foreign affairs and submit a report with recommendations.

The Governor of the Indian state of Uttarakhand visited Nabhi, Kuti, and Gunji in the Kalapani area of Darchula without the State government’s permission. The Rashtriya Janamorcha expressed a serious objection over the Indian official’s visit without a permit.

The US embassy congratulated Pushpa Kamal Dahal on being re-elected as the Chairman of the CPN-Maoist Center. The embassy also stated that the United States is committed to democracy worldwide and Nepal’s democratic process.

Arzu Rana Deuba, the wife of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, met with Vijay Chauthaiwale, the Foreign Affairs Department Chief of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in New Delhi on January 2.

After finalizing the draft, the cabinet meeting was permitted to sign the labor agreement after meeting high-level officials of Nepal and Oman in Kathmandu. However, the two countries are yet to sign the agreement.

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