Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign AffairsHon. Kamal Thapa met yesterday his British counterpart Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond, MPat the latter’s office in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London. The two sides exchanged views on the current situation in Nepal and on the occasion being organized by Nepal and UK to mark the bicentenary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. During the meeting, Deputy Prime Minster Thapa briefed the British Foreign Minister on Nepal’s current political situation, including the promulgation of the new constitution and the difficulties being faced with the disruption of supplies of fuel and other essential commodities at Nepal-India border check points. He also raised the issue of the British Gurkhas and requested the British Government for solution of the problem on the basis of equality, including through the implementation of the recommendations contained in the parliamentary report of Jackie-Doyle Price. He also talked about the release of Mr Kumar Lama, ex-Officer in Nepal Army, especially in the context of the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Nepal.
The Rt. Hon’ble Philip Hammond, while welcoming the adoption of the new constitution in Nepal and citing it as a milestone in Nepal’s history, assured of British support in the development process of Nepal. Expressing his concern about the disruption of the supplies at the Nepal-India border checkpoints, he expressed his hope that the problem would be resolved soon. On the problems of British Gurkhas, he said that the British Government would make the best possible efforts, on the basis of report of Jackie-Doyle Price, for the solution of the problem.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Prime Minster Thapa andMinister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Hugo Swire exchanged views on various aspects of Nepal-UK relations in the context of the ongoing celebrations of bicentenary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.Later in the evening, Deputy Prime Minister Thapa attended the special Bicentenary reception hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and addressed the gathering highlighting the historically close relations between the two countries. Deputy Prime Minister Thapa appreciated British development cooperation to Nepal as a major international partner and its continued support to Nepal’s democratic political process.
Hon. Deputy Prime Minister also had a meeting with the Rt. Hon. Desmond Swayne,Minister of State at theDepartment for International Development (DFID) They discussedongoing development cooperation between the two countries, especially, in the context of Nepal’s ongoing humanitarian situation and Government’s reconstruction plans. He urged the British Government to enhance its support and cooperation in the context of the adoption of the National Reconstruction Authority Bill to expedite the post-earthquake reconstruction. They also exchanged views on DIFID’s next five-year development cooperation programs and priorities in Nepal of DIFID for the period of 2016-2021.
Deputy Prime Minister Thapa held an interactive meeting with the members of the Nepal-UK All Party Parliamentary Group led by its Chairman Rt. Hon. Mr. Birendra Sharma MP and participated in discussions on various aspects of Nepal-UK relations, including the issue of the remaining grievances of the British Gurkhas.
The Office of the Spokesperson
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Singha Durbar, Kathmandu
17 December 2015