News Digest: International relations & Foreign Affairs (September 23-29)

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Nepal will receive two million doses of the Covid shield vaccine in the first week of October. India is providing one million doses as a grant, and the government already paid for the other one million doses in February 2020. Moreover, the government is anticipating more than 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine through COVAX soon.

The government has decided to open the border; however, it remains ineffective in the Nepalgunj border. Nepali vehicles were not permitted to enter India through the Nepalgunj border. As the government order was not executed, vehicles were unable to travel to India as of yesterday. Heavy vehicles from India were permitted to enter Nepal, nevertheless.

Anurag Srivastava, Joint Secretary North, at India’s Ministry of External Affairs, reached Kathmandu on September 28. He will be meeting with Nepal’s Finance Secretary, Commerce Secretary, and Acting Foreign secretary.

Former Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Banskota, Federal MP Ganga Bahadur Tamang and Joint Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava jointly inaugurated six school buildings constructed at different places in Kavre Palanchok district after the earthquake with the financial support of the Government of India. Photo: RSS

Nepal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that MCC could not be amended at this stage on the UNGA sideline event in New York. He stated that national consensus on the agreement is essential; however, spreading erroneous information was wrong. He also said MCC is in the country’s interest, and declining MCC would question Nepal’s credibility.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs partook in the 76th session of the UNGA in New York on September 28. While addressing the session, he underlined few things, such as the distressing effects of the Covid-19 crisis, which led to the plunging global economy. He also stated that Nepal aims to graduate from the LDC category by 2026. He further said Nepal’s foreign policy is premised on principles of the UN Charter, non-alignment, international law, and norms of world peace.

Nepal’s newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Narayan Khadka, met his Indian Counterpart Dr. S Jaishankar in New York to partake in the 76th session of UNGA. Jaishankar stated that he looked forward to strengthening the special relationship.

The task force formed to study the Humla border submitted the report to Home Minister on September 26. The report is not made public. The task force interacted with local people and stakeholders in Humla before formulating the report. The report’s findings suggest that there are some issues in the area but have not notably claimed it to be an encroachment. Certain boundary pillars were rebuilt and fenced without Nepal’s consent. The task force has recommended the government take necessary actions to inspect the area jointly.

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