Need of balanced foreign policy: President Bhandari

Kathmandu, Feb 23, President Bidya Devi Bhandari has underscored the need for balancing the foreign policy and international relations, while attaching high importance to the national interest.

Addressing the 75th anniversary function of the Nepal Council of World Affairs in Kathmandu on Thursday, President Bhandari reiterated that the diplomatic relations should be handled in a balanced manner in view of the changed context. Discussion on Nepal’s foreign policy objectives and aims should be discussed in line with changing scenario in such forum, she reminded.

At a time when the unprecedented development of science and IT have made people’s life easier and happier, there are other global challenges posed by geopolitical adversity, widening inequality, crisis plagued by climate change, which the President argued, had caused threats to world peace and prosperity.

She further said Nepal’s presence should be made more effective by developing self-sufficient economy. Nepal has kept intact its independence and sovereignty, President Bhandari said, reminding the stakeholders including the political parties to build a comprehensive and common consensus and unified perspective on foreign policy. “It is our priority to conduct foreign policy by paying attention to the changed national and international scenario. We should move ahead by prioritizing the governance, integrity and national independence as provisioned in the constitution.”

According to her, major objective of foreign policy is to promote interest of Nepal and Nepalis in the international community. Effective diplomatic channel helps to create harmony and support and bring in assistance, thereby making international atmosphere conducive for the country. She suggested the Nepal government that it continuously advocated for the rights of landlocked country for cross-border transportation and development of mountain country.

Moreover, the Head of State stated that Nepal had kept in priority the socioeconomic development of the country with sustainable peace, and prosperity and meaningful change in people’s life. Other issues she reminded were SDGs, promotion of exports, foreign investment, and transfer of technology.

She also underlined the need for strengthening the friendly and cordial relations with two neighbours—India and China. Nepal is happy to see development in India and China, and Nepal should reap benefits from it.

Also reminded by the President during the address were relations with other friendly countries, labour destination countries, strengthening relations with UN and its agencies, respect to sovereign equality, independence, territorial integrity as per UN Charter, peaceful and diplomatic dialogue for settling disputes.

She believed such programme would help strengthen Nepal’s foreign policy based on peace, non-alignment, and panchasheel principles.

On the occasion, former Foreign Minister Bheikh Bahadur Thapa suggested Nepal played a positive and coordinating role via balanced diplomacy in the present complicated global atmosphere.

Council’s Chair Hemanta Kharel said the Council was playing an important role on whetting diplomatic dialogues.

On the occasion, President Bhandari released a souvenir the Council published, and honoured noted diplomat Thapa, offering him a shawl.

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