‘Country will be a vibrant bridge between India, China’
KATHMANDU, AUG 29 -
Touching upon his year-long foreign policy priorities in a nationally televised address on Tuesday, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said Nepal’s security and foreign policy will be based on “objective assessment” of the country’s location between two neighbours— India and China .
Nepal, he said, will be a “vibrant bridge” between two of the fastest growing economies of the world, a point he has repeatedly stressed in his last one year in office, including during his visit to India and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s Nepal visit. Bhattarai stressed the maintenance of cordial relations with both neighbours by addressing their concerns and genuine interests.
Reaffirming that Nepal’s foreign policy is based on co-existence, non-interference and dialogue-based solutions, the PM said Nepal will not be used against any of its neighbours. He sought the same reciprocity from neighbouring countries.
Analysts pointed out that given the fractured domestic polity, the PM seems to have done a decent job on the foreign policy front. “It would be wrong to expect wonders at this moment as the PM has so many limitations. Foreign policy, after all, is an extension of a country’s domestic policy,” said former ambassador to India Lok Raj Baral.
Although there has been no major deviation in foreign policy issues, both India and China have offered and committed ‘enormous’ help to Nepal. Big infrastructure projects, upon the succour of India and China , also won admiration for Bhattarai’s administration and policy.
Double digit progress, which has been Bhattarai’s constant mantra, is only possible through investment from India and China , he said. Within this one year, Bhattarai attended the UN General Assembly, visited India , attended the 17th Saarc summit in the Maldives and participated in the global Rio+20 development forum in Brazil. During these visits, Bhattarai met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, India n Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and various other leaders from South Asia and the world. “During my trip to the UN and India , I brought forth our interests in multilateral and bilateral forums,” said the PM.
Bhattarai also hosted Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, United States Department of State Under-secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R Sherman, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Fu Ying and many others. As always, the PM defended his signing of the BIPPA agreement with India and advised the Mohan Baidya breakaway faction of the Maoists to refrain from coming up with narrow or partisan interests in vital issues like nationalism.
Posted on: 2012-08-29 08:03