Nepal government decides not to move ahead with US government’s State Partnership ProgramDeuba administration had come under intense pressure following controversy surrounding Nepal’s participation in the SPP, with critics saying it risks the country’s sovereignty.
The government has decided not to move ahead with the US government’s State Partnership Program.
A Cabinet meeting on Monday took a decision to this effect.
“Today’s Cabinet meeting has made three decisions—not to move ahead on the SPP, inform the US government and make all correspondence only through the Foreign Ministry,” said Rajendra Shrestha, minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration. “The point is that direct correspondence by the army has not done good to the country. All correspondence should have been made through the Foreign Ministry.”
Nepal’s “participation” in the SPP has become a hotly debated political issue, with political parties engaged in a blame-game.
According to the US, Washington accepted Nepal in the SPP in 2019 after it applied twice in 2015 and 2017.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was under pressure from the main opposition CPN-UML as well as his own party, the Nepali Congress, to terminate Nepal’s partnership in the SPP.
After controversy erupted over Nepal and its partnership in the SPP, the US embassy in Kathmandu last week said that Nepal can stop its participation in the SPP if it wishes so.
“When Nepal asked to participate in the program in 2015, and again in 2017, the request involved civilian, government, and military leaders from Nepal, openly looking to take advantage of a program focused on security cooperation and exchanges, and humanitarian assistance and disaster readiness,” said the embassy in the statement. “A country can simply inform the United States that they no longer wish to participate in the programme.”
Asked if the government has decided to send any letter to the US seeking to terminate its partnership in the SPP, government’s spokesperson Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said the Cabinet has just decided “not to move ahead with the SPP,” without further elaborating.