Prime Minister’s visit to US ‘expected’ says Foreign Office
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s visit to the United States is expected, the Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday.
Speaking at a regular press briefing, ministry spokesperson Sewa Lamsal released the official position of the Nepalese government on the Prime Minister’s visit.
“Discussions are ongoing about the Prime Minister’s visit to the United States,” Lamsal said. “We have to do the homework at different layers, so it will take some time to finalize the dates. We will make the details public at the appropriate time. »
Deuba’s visit to Washington in mid-July has been discussed for some time. However, the government had not made any official announcement to that effect.
Sources say the visit is highly anticipated but could be delayed for a few days.
Concerns had arisen over Deuba’s proposed visit to Washington after a row over the US government’s state partnership program erupted in Nepal with political parties on all sides calling on the government not to be part of the SPP. They argue that it has a military component.
The US Embassy in Kathmandu said Nepal became a member of the SPP in 2019, as Nepalese officials continued to deny such participation. After the United States Embassy made it clear that any country wishing to end its partnership with the SPP could write a letter to the United States expressing their wish, the Nepalese government decided on June 20 that it would not step forward with the SPP.
The US Embassy maintained that the SPP does not have a military alliance and that it is the sovereign decision of the Nepalese government whether to join or not.
The Cabinet decision reached the Foreign Office, but officials said they had not yet sent a letter to the United States.
Lamsal said at Sunday’s press conference that the Foreign Office has yet to write to the United States about the PSP.
“Previous communications were not made through us [Foreign Ministry]. We are studying the question. We will communicate the decision of the Nepalese government through diplomatic channels… rest assured,” Lamsal said. “We have [already] received the decision from the Nepalese government.