News Digest (September 10-16, 2020)


People and Coronavirus

International Relations & Foreign Policy

Experts suggest senior-level dialogue: The experts have again suggested calling for a high-level dialogue to resolve Nepal-India disputes. The opposition leaders have been urging the Nepali government to get the ‘encroached land back’ and request India to remove its army from the encroached territories. All former ministers and experts stressed on sustaining balanced relations with both the neighbours while maintaining sovereignty.[1]

Israel’s free trade agreements: Gilad Cohen, the Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Pacific at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel, has requested all Asian countries including Nepal to sign a free trade agreement with it at the earliest. Cohen boasted Israel’s’ capacity in technology and innovation in a zoom meeting and stated trade opportunities for Israel and Nepal.[2]

India and Pakistan to attend SAARC meet: Despite tensions between India and Pakistan, both the neighbours have confirmed their presence at the SAARC meeting to be held on September 24. Nepal being the chair of the regional bloc, will host the meeting and emphasise on regional understanding to organise the delayed SAARC summit. The 19th summit was stalled due to tensions along Kashmir and experts doubt regional cooperation amongst the members due to member states’ rivalry. Furthermore, India seems more invested in BIMSTEC. India’s relations with Pakistan and China are crucial for cooperation.[3]

NCP chairs propose to endorse MCC: The NCP chairpersons, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and KP Sharma Oli, have offered to make the necessary amendments and endorse the much prolonged MCC Compact. After much delay and dispute around endorsing the MCC, the two chairpersons have finally agreed to approve the MUSD 500 grant from the United States. The fifth Standing Committee meeting will address the MCC and disagreements around it.[4]

Third bid for passports: MoFa might cancel the previous e-passport bids as per the recommendation of the Department of passport since none of the bidders submitted the required documents. Therefore, the Department of Passport has urged to call another bid with a shorter deadline to avoid passport shortage. The Department has only 36,000 passports left in stock and any delay in finalising the proposal will lead to a massive deficit.[5]

Chinese Coronavirus vaccine in November: China’s vaccine may be ready for general public use by November. Four of Chinese vaccines are already in the final stage, Phase 3. The clinical trials so far have been smooth according to CDC chief biosafety expert Guizhen Wu and no abnormal symptoms in the inoculated persons were visible.[6]







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