Prime minister leaves for Italy amid visits to south and from northA Maoist delegation leaves for India today at the invitation of Bharatiya Janata Party. From China, a CPC team is arriving.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal left for Italy on Saturday evening to attend the United Nations Food Systems Summit in addition to the Stocktaking Moment (UNFSS+2) to be held in Rome from July 24 to 26.
Prior to his departure, Dahal tentatively decided the dates of his China visit, likely to take place during the Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8, 2023. A diplomatic source told the Post that he will attend the opening ceremony of the Asian Games. Either Chinese President Xi Jinping or Chinese Premier Li Qiang will be the chief guest of the ceremony.
After attending the inaugural function, Dahal will visit Beijing, where he will meet top leaders of the Communist Party of China, the sources revealed. If the prime minister chooses to go to China, he might not attend the 78th United Nations General Assembly or he may attend it prior to the China visit, which is yet to be decided, another official at his office said. This year’s UN general assembly will commence on September 5.
Italy is Dahal’s second foreign visit after he became the prime minister for a third time on December 25 last year. His first visit after assuming office was to India in May-June.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the prime minister is accompanied by his daughter Ganga Dahal, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Beduram Bhusal, Member of National Planning Commission Jay Kant Raut, Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal and other senior officials of the government of Nepal.
“The prime minister is scheduled to address the official opening session of UNFSS+2 on Monday in the capacity of the chair of the LDC Group and the plenary sessions on the agenda of school meals on July 24 and food system transformation in practice on July 25,” said the ministry.
On the sidelines of the event, Dahal will hold bilateral meetings with high-level dignitaries of the UN system, including the director general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), and the president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), among others. The prime minister will also interact with the Nepali community in Italy during a programme being organised by the Non-Resident Nepali Association, Italy. The delegation will return home on Friday.
Meanwhile, a delegation of CPN (Maoist Centre) is visiting India at the invitation of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in a bid to strengthen party-to-party relations between the two. At the invitation of Bharatiya Janata Party National President JP Nadda, a five-member delegation of Nepal’s CPN (Maoist Centre) is going to visit India from Sunday.
There is a flurry of visits from Nepal, especially to the neighbouring countries China and India. A Maoist delegation led by the party's deputy general secretary Pampha Bhusal and involving party secretary Chakrapani Khanal, standing committee member Satya Pahadi and central committee members Rameshwor Rai Yadav and Suresh Kumar Rai is visiting India on Sunday. Bhusal told the Post that the five-member delegation will return to the country on July 28.
The Maoist delegation will visit BJP headquarters and interact with BJP office bearers, BJP leaders and some ministers. During the visit, they aim to understand the BJP’s organisation, how the party is running and the kind of relations that exist between the BJP and the government.
In July last year, in his meeting with BJP President JP Nadda in New Delhi, Maoist Chairman Dahal had agreed to build party-to-party relations with the BJP. This delegation from Nepal’s Maoist Centre to the BJP headquarters comes at the invitation of the ruling party of India.
On July 19, Nadda sent a condolence message to Dahal on the demise of his wife, Sita Dahal. “I extend my deepest condolences on the passing away of your wife Mrs. Sita Dahal,” Nadda said in his message, adding that her commitment to the betterment of Nepal had left an indelible mark in the hearts of the people. “Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to you and to your family during this difficult time.” After a prolonged illness, Sita Dahal died on July 12 in Kathmandu.
From the north, Yuan Jiajun, a politburo member of the Communist Party of China, is arriving in Kathmandu on Sunday, leading a delegation from Chongqing city. The politburo is a key decision-making body of the party. Yuan is also the secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chongqing municipal committee. Yuan is coming to Kathmandu after completing his visit to Sri Lanka where he had met several Sri Lankan leaders, including the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ahead of his visit, a CPC delegation arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday via a Sri Lankan Air flight in order to prepare the ground for Yuan's visit.
Jhao Li, party secretary and deputy director of CPC’s Chongqing City foreign relations department, Jhao Yi, Li Bin, Johng Peng and Jhang Min have already arrived in Kathmandu from Colombo, a senior security official told the Post.
Yuan is coming at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a CPN-UML leader said, adding that Yuan is considered to be the future leader of the CPC. According to Chinese media reports, President Xi Jinping had in December last year inducted Yuan to the CPC’s 24-member politburo due to his strong background in science and technology and aerospace engineering. Yuan will be the senior-most CPC official visiting Kathmandu after the formation of the Dahal-led government in December last year.
The CPC delegation will meet President Ramchandra Paudel, Foreign Minister NP Saud and senior leaders of various political parties. Besides meeting party leaders, the Chinese delegation is likely to invite Nepal’s participation to the “Belt and Road (Chongqing) International Consumer Goods Expo” being co-hosted by the Supply and Marketing Cooperation Industry Branch of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Cooperation Times. The event is scheduled to be held at the Chongqing International Expo Centre from September 22 to 24.