Prime Minister's Europe visit

Editorial

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has completed for Europe to pay official visit to three different European counties.

Prime Minister Oli was embarked on the eight-day visit to the three countries of Europe with an objective of the government to strengthen bilateral relations with all nations across the world.

Prime Minister Oli left leave the country for Switzerland to attend a special programme to be held in Geneva on the centenary of International Labour Organisation (ILO).

During his stay in Geneva from June 9 to 10, Prime Minister Oli addressed the special ceremony on June 10. He will also hold some bilateral meetings on sidelines in the Swiss city. Prime Minister Oli started his UK visit officially on June 10, concluding his Swiss visit on the same day.

During his UK visit, the Prime Minister held a bilateral talk with his UK counterpart Theresa May and also addressed a special ceremony hosted by the Oxford Union.

Besides, the Prime Minister addressed the UK’s parliamentary committee and attend the programmes of Nepali Diaspora.  Similarly, Prime Minister Oli begun his official visit to France on June 12. It was a high profile visit to France from Nepal after a long gap, the Ministry informed. During his France visit, Prime Minister Oli held bilateral talks with his French counterpart Edouard Philippe. He also participated in various programs organized on the 70th anniversary of the ties between the two countries.

In this regard, the Prime Minister remarked that Nepal will not be doing things based on the experience of other countries. During a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, PM Oli raised the issue of Gurkha recruitment which revolved around the need to review and update the tripartite agreement signed between Nepal, Britain and India over seven decades ago. So much political and economic changes have taken place in the region and the world since that time and it is relevant to make timely revisions in the treaty to suit the present context.

The Prime Minister frankly put forward the concerns of the Gurkha servicemen who have proven their courage, dedication and sincerity in discharging their duty. Different treatment of the British government towards the Gurkha army servicemen and their British counterparts had time and again become the issue of human rights concerns as well. While some of their demands have been duly addressed, some others are yet to be met. The Prime Minister urged British Minister May to appropriately recognise the sacrifices made by the Gurkha army servicemen instead of merely making evaluations on monetary terms. It is said that British PM May has responded positively about Nepal’s concerns over the issue of the Gurkha army servicemen. The two Prime Ministers also discussed the need of finalising the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries. Regarding the question on high number of climbers permitted to scale Mt. Everest and the death of climbers, Prime Minister Oli said that accidental deaths have nothing to do with the number of climbers. However, he said that number of climbers can be controlled if needed. On the one hand Nepal is moving ahead with the tourism promotion plan of bringing in two million tourists in 2020, environmental and infrastructure issues are being raised with prominence, on the other. Saving the spiritual sanctity of the Himalayan mountains, guarding against environmental degradation and building reliable infrastructure for sustainable tourism and visitors’ safety are naturally on priority.

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