Alliance has asked prime minister to postpone US visit, Yadav saysYadav rules out cancellation of the visit; says it has been put on hold due to some reasons.
Upendra Yadav, the chairman of the Janata Samajbadi Party, a coalition partner in the current government, said on Friday that the ruling alliance advised Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba not to embark on a visit to the United States for now.
Speaking at an interaction titled “Geopolitics and Nepal’s Military Diplomacy,” organised by the Centre for Social Inclusion and Federalism, Yadav, who is also a former foreign minister, said that the coalition had suggested that the prime minister’s visit to the US be put on hold in view of some internal reasons.
“It is not that the prime minister’s visit will not take place or that he will not go, but we have put this visit on hold for now because of internal reasons,” said Yadav.
Deuba’s visit was initially planned for mid-July. But then the issue of Nepal’s participation in the US government’s State Partnership Program surfaced.
According to the US embassy in Kathmandu, Washington accepted Nepal in the SPP in 2019 after two requests in 2015 and 2017.
Following pressure from parties, which argue the SPP has military and security components, the government on June 21 decided not to be part of the American programme.
The Foreign Ministry, however, is yet to write to the US regarding the government decision. Speaker Agni Sapkota on Thursday ordered the government to apprise the House of the status of the SPP’s implementation in Nepal.
A few days ago, Madhav Nepal, chair of the CPN (Unified Socialist), which is also a coalition partner, said at a function that the prime minister’s visit “was cancelled” because Nepal refused to “pass” the SPP.
American officials, however, have maintained that there is nothing to “pass” with regard to the SPP and if Nepal wishes to pull out of the program then the government should simply write to the US.
“Earlier we were discussing a particular date for the prime minister’s visit,” Sewa Lamsal, spokesperson for the Ministry, said on Wednesday at a regular press briefing. “Now a new date will be announced once the two sides agree on it. We can’t announce the date until it is mutually convenient for both sides.”
On the SPP, Lamsal said the ministry is studying the matter.
“We are studying the various aspects of the SPP. We have received some facts and evidence that Nepal has already received some assistance under the programme. We are also studying in what areas, including disaster management, was the assistance received,” said Lamsal.
At Friday’s interaction, Yadav said that Nepal won’t be part of any military alliance.
Stating that Nepal cannot be part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy, Yadav said that the government has also decided not to be part of the SPP.
“The Foreign Ministry will write to the country concerned [the US],” said Yadav.