KATHMANDU: Smooth promulgation of new constitution by May 27 heralds good news for diplomatic exposure of Nepal.
High-profile visits from India, Qatar and United Nations are on the cards, besides 18th SAARC Summit that Kathmandu is slated to host in early 2013. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait will respond to Nepal’s long due request to open up their diplomatic missions in Kathmandu that will address many problems facing Nepali migrant workers in the Gulf. Nepal is also seriously considering opening up residential missions in Bahrain, Oman and Spain.
Diplomatic machinery in Kathmandu and New Delhi is working overtime to ensure Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s long-promised visit to Nepal. Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, who was foreign minister in the last Cabinet, said India PM will embark on a visit to Nepal at an early date once new statute is promulgated.
No Indian head of government has visited Nepal for a bilateral visit since IK Gujral came in 1997.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has hinted that he would visit Nepal following the promulgating of the new statute and conclusion of peace process. His envoy Tamrat Samuel had conveyed this to Nepali stakeholders during his meetings in the last week of April, when Ban’s scheduled visit to Kathmandu and Lumbini was put off.
Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s visit is also on the cards, as he had assured President Dr Ram Baran Yadav of reciprocal visit when Dr Yadav was in the Gulf nation in October 2011.
A senior official at Ministry of Foreign Ministry told THT that such high-profile visits would do a world of good to Nepal’s international standing. “It will not only convey that Nepal is no longer a weak state, but a peaceful and stable one. It will also boost the confidence of local and foreign entrepreneurs to invest in Nepal.”
Former foreign minister and ambassador Bhekh Bahadur Thapa cautioned that Nepali stakeholders should be sensitive on protocol matters and national interests while dealing with foreign leaders.