Foreign Minister Saud « Khabarhub

Foreign Minister NP Saud addressing the queries of lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Monday. (Photo: RSS)

KATHMANDU: Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud has pledged not to allow encroachment of even an inch of Nepal’s territory.

Responding to queries raised by the MPs during the discussion on various budget headings of the Foreign Ministry under the Appropriation Bill, 2080 BS at the House of Representatives today, he said that the agreement to resolve the border problems through mutual understanding was reached during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s recent visit to India, so as to ensure that not even an inch of Nepal’s territory is encroached upon.

Minister Saud said that the Prime Minister’s visit to India was fruitful in promoting the relationship between the two countries. According to him, a preliminary agreement was reached on a long-term power trade agreement while discussions were held with India for the export of 556 megawatts of electricity from Upper Tamakoshi to India.

Minister Saud also clarified that the private sector officials on India visit were at their personal expense while the government met the expenses of the visit of the government delegation along with the government media persons.

Though the government is trying to make the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) dynamic the effort has not materialized as the SAARC mechanism requires to be operated in an unanimous manner, which is lacking.

Minister Saud said that the appointment of the ambassadors was carried out according to the set guidelines. He was also of the opinion that the passport service has been facilitated by the department of passport, which will be made more easy and efficient.

He pledged that the important records of the ministry will be kept safely in collaboration with the National Archives.

Earlier, MPs Raghuji Pant, Prem Suwal, Santosh Pariyar, Jwalakumari Sah, Madhav Sapkota, Damodar Paudel, Samjhana Thapaliya, Asim Sah, Narayan Prasad Acharya and others had asked questions about the appropriation concerning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In response to the questions of the MPs, Minister Saud informed the Parliament that when he talked to the External Affairs Minister of India about the mural placed in the Indian Parliament he was told that it was an Ashoka period painting and not a political map. He however said that the Nepali Embassy in Delhi has been directed to understand about the map and inform the government accordingly.

About four percent of the total budget has been allocated this year for the foreign ministry, he said and emphasized that all parties should agree on an uniform foreign policy and work on it for the sake of national interest and stop the trend of making statements only for political consumption.

According to Minister Saud, efforts are being made to open the non-functioning checkpoints at various border points. He also noted that though the BRI agreement was signed in 2017 it is yet to be implemented.


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