Tuesday 26 November 2019

Foreign Minister Gyawali says in Moscow

Press Notes for
Hon. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Nepal after his meeting with H.E. Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation
Moscow, 25 November 2019

Dear colleagues from the media,

·      Warm greetings to you all on behalf of the Government and people of Nepal and on my own! I thank Foreign Minister Lavrov and the Government of Russia for warm welcome and generous hospitality
·      The Russian Federation is Nepal’s old friend. The people of Nepal cherish the friendship and partnership with the Russian Federation that involves all sectors: Governments, businesspeople, academia, media, scientists, students, artists and so on.
·      After a long gap, bilateral talks have been held at the foreign minister’s level. It was our heavy domestic engagements due to the political transition that kept us busy.
·      This visit has taken place in the fundamentally changed national context. The prolonged political transition in Nepal has ended and we have moved from the state of instability to stability.  Our national focus is on socio-economic transformation in a rapid but sustainable manner.
·      The people have high hope on the Government—a stable government that is in place in two decades. The present government is committed to deliver on its promises to people under the national aspiration of ‘prosperous Nepal, happy Nepali’.
·      I think this is the most appropriate time that we can work together in the interest of the peoples of both the countries. I therefore thank Minister Lavrov for welcoming my delegation at this important juncture.
·      We can work together for elevating our relations by:
o   deepening political understanding
o   promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in diverse fields
o   identifying new areas of mutually beneficial cooperation
o   strengthening collaboration in regional and global affairs for a just, peaceful and prosperous world.
·      Foreign Minister Lavrov and I exchanged substantive views on a wide range of topics today in a very cordial and frank atmosphere.
·      I have handed over the separate invitations from the Rt. Hon’ble President of Nepal and the Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal to His Excellency the President Mr. Putin and His Excellency Prime Minister Mr. Medvedev   respectively to visit Nepal at their convenience.
·      I have also invited Foreign Minister Lavrov to pay a visit to Nepal, which is long overdue.
·      I believe Nepal-Russia relations deserve this and more so in the changed context.
·      I believe that high level exchanges between the two countries will be instrumental in taking our relations to a new height. 
·      The Russian Federation has an important role to play in contemporary international affairs, particularly for the global peace and stability, as well as in promoting collective interests of the developing world.
·      I am very happy to work closely with Minister Lavrov. He is not only a seasoned diplomat, but also a well-respected political figure of our time for the stewardship he has provided to the Russian Foreign Ministry for a long time.
·      I am happy to note his particular interest in and profound knowledge about South Asia.

Dear friends,

·      Nepal and Russia have many areas of common interests to work together. We have been working closely at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels towards further strengthening friendly relations for the mutual benefits of the two countries and for global peace, security and stability.
·      There are many areas of cooperation that can be harnessed for common benefits. Promotion of trade and investment in energy, industrial and infrastructure development are one of them, where Russia has developed a world-class expertise.
·      Nepal has huge potentials to develop organic agro-products such as tea, coffee, ginger, cardamom which can be exported to Russia. I also believe that Russian people love Nepali handmade woolen carpets and handicrafts of various kinds. We can also import goods from Russia.
·      Nepal is an attractive destination for foreign investment. We have created a sound regulatory framework for the protection of investment together with the guarantee of incentives that also include repatriation of capital and profit without any hassles. One stop service has been in operation to provide one window and fast track service to foreign investors. We invite Russian investment both public and private in productive sectors of our economy. Hydropower, tourism, agriculture, minerals, mines, IT are some of the sectors in which investment is highly profitable.   
·      Minister Lavrov and I discussed our bilateral cooperation, engagements at these platforms, as well as the ways and means for enhancing economic and trade relations.  
·      The people of Nepal are thankful for the cooperation they received from the Russian Federation: in the 2015 earthquake; for infrastructure development; in human resource development; or during the early stage of industrial development in Nepal.
·      People-to-people relations have been phenomenal. Having interest in literature, I have deep respect for Russian literary icons Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, Alexander Pushkin etc. It is equally so among many Nepalis.
·      A growing number of Russians have attraction towards eastern philosophies including Buddhism. Likewise, Nepali people are attracted to the glorious history, diverse culture, literature and arts of Russia. 
·      Against this background, Minister Lavrov and I have agreed to further enhancing the level of cultural cooperation and people to people exchange.
·      At regional and international contexts, we have shared our thoughts at length. Nepal stands for multilateralism, so does the Russian Federation. The UN and other multilateral forums are the hard-own institutions of our collective efforts. These institutions should be preserved for the collective benefit of humanity.
·      Russia is playing an active role in various global agendas such as cybersecurity, counterterrorism, peacekeeping, mediation and strengthening of international rule of law. These are important initiatives for peace and security.
·      Minister Lavrov and I are on the same page that we should strive for preserving the multilateralism for the collective benefit of the international community.
·      Let me also briefly highlight Nepal’s foreign policy priorities. Nepal values cooperation with all the countries based on the principle of “Amity with All and Enmity with None”. As with other countries, Nepal also gives priority to its relationship with the immediate neighbours. Major powers like Russia, development partners and other friendly countries are also in priority in our foreign policy orientation.
·      Nepal is committed to not let its territory to be used against any friendly nation in the world.
·      Non-Alignment, the Panchasheel or the five principle of Peaceful Coexistence, respect for international law, value for world peace continue to guide our conduct of foreign policy. Respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries are the fundamentals tenets of healthy international relations.
·      South Asia is a region full of potentials, diversity and challenges. We are committed to engage with friendly countries in the region and beyond on areas of cooperation in the collective interest of the region. Nepal believes that all differences must be settled through peaceful means.
·      Regional cooperation has great potentials to contribute to shared prosperity, peace and stability. Bearing this in mind, we have been playing an active role in reactivating SAARC as its current Chair and revitalizing BIMSTEC as a bridge between South Asia and South-east Asia. 
·      Nepal is also engaged in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization since 2015 as dialogue partner. The framework for the deeper engagement of Nepal with SCO is wide. We believe that our partnership can be upgrade to a full membership. We need support from SCO member States including Russia.     
Distinguished media colleagues,
·      Nepal has established a permanent dialogue forum known as Sagarmatha Sambaad (Mt Everest Dialogue named after the tallest peak on earth) to deliberate on contemporary issues of global, regional and national significance. The first episode of the Sambaad will be held on the theme ‘Climate Change, Mountains and Future of Humanity’ to sensitize the international community about the impending climate crisis and its consequences of humanity. We are expecting high-level participation from a host of countries including the Russian Federation.
·      Let me take this opportunity to inform you that Visit Nepal Year is being celebrated throughout the year 2020 Nepal. I extend to you all my invitation to come to Nepal at your convenient time. Nepal is a beautiful country and has many things to offer both naturally and culturally.
·      I quote the famous poet Rasul Gamzatov, who described Nepal as ‘diamond yet to be crafted’. This is a must-visit destination in one’s lifetime. I would expect that this message gets across Russia and beyond through appropriate publicity in this great friendly nation.
·      I will be pleased to answer if you have any questions to me.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answer to a media question

25 November 201917:28

 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answer to a media questionduring a joint news conference with Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Moscow, November 25, 2019

  • en-GB1  ru-RU1 
    Ladies and gentlemen,
    The talks were quite productive. This is our first meeting, which we think is particularly important. The previous full-format visit by Nepal’s foreign minister to Russia was in 2005.
    The talks confirmed that the meeting was very opportune for comprehensive development of all areas of our relations. Nepal is our long-standing partner in South Asia. Since diplomatic relations were established in 1956, our interaction has always been based on mutual respect, trust and consideration for each other's interests.
    The bonds of friendship linking our peoples were tested in 2015 when, after a devastating earthquake in Nepal, Russia promptly sent a first responder team including doctors and humanitarian aid to the disaster area. We contributed to the speedy adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution to urgently mobilise additional aid to Nepal.
    Today, we noted sustainable development of the political dialogue, including between our parliaments. The chairs of the supreme courts of Russia and Nepal visited each other’s countries this year. We noted positive trade dynamics, although the absolute figures are still not too impressive. Trade can be expanded through increasing exchanges in traditional goods and finding ways to diversify trade, economic and investment ties. In this regard, we noted the prospects in the energy sector.
    The Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation of Nepal Barshaman Pun visited Russia last month to participate in the International Forum, Russian Energy Week, and also held bilateral meetings where good prospects for joint development of Nepal’s hydroelectric power resources were identified. Russian aviation has a good track record in the Nepalese highlands. Previously delivered Mi-17 helicopters operate in Nepal. There are further plans for cooperation in this area. Military-technical cooperation has good prospects as well. We agreed to sign a corresponding agreement.
    As for other issues related to the strengthening of our agreement framework, I would like to note the approaches we have agreed on today to expedite the work on documents in the law enforcement area, migration, readmission, emergency response, and cooperation between television channels of Russia and Nepal.
    We specifically focused on the need to expedite the coordination of the bilateral consular convention, which will help resolve issues of aligning the requirements for Russians’ stay in Nepal and the Nepalese in Russia, especially in cases of mixed families.
    Nepal is popular with Russian tourists. Although the number is relatively small now at 11,000 people according to last year’s statistics, it is growing steadily. We thanked our Nepalese colleague for updating us on the efforts to further develop the national tourism industry under the Visit Nepal 2020 programme. We will try to send Russian representatives responsible for the official, sports and cultural areas to participate in the relevant events at the invitation of our friends.
    We are satisfied with the interaction between our foreign affairs agencies. The inter-MFA consultations format has been active and productive since 1995. We also coordinate our activities in multilateral platforms, primarily at the UN and its bodies. This is facilitated by the proximity of our approaches to key and fundamental issues on the regional and global agendas, primarily with regard to strengthening the principles of multilateralism on the solid foundation of the UN Charter and relying on and strengthening the central role of the UN, while respecting the identity of all peoples and their right to determine their own future.
    We have reaffirmed our commitment to the further consolidation of efforts on an equal, democratic, and multilateral basis to counter the numerous global challenges including terrorism, climate change and various regional conflicts.
    We highly praised the role of Nepal as a country which is among the largest suppliers of contingents for UN peacekeeping operations. We will support strengthening the positions of our Nepalese friends in the executive bodies of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the corresponding peacekeeping operations on the ground in a variety of regions.
    I am quite satisfied with the outcome of the talks which showed the parties’ mutual willingness to expand cooperation. The Minister conveyed an invitation to representatives of the Russian leadership to visit Nepal. We will consider these invitations in a constructive manner. We will agree on the dates of the visits through diplomatic channels.

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