At the invitation of Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Kamal Thapa, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, arrived Kathmandu today by special aircraft in connection with an official visit to Nepal. He was received by Hon. Minster of State for Finance Mr. Damodar Bhandari, Chief of Protocol and other senior officials of the Government of Nepal at the airport.
High Highness Shaikh Abdulla paid courtesy calls on the Rt. Hon. President Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari at Sheetal Niwas and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Mr. K. P. Sharma Oli at Baluwatar in the afternoon.
Both the Rt. Hon. President and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister thanked the Government of the United Arab Emirates for opening of its Residential Embassy in Nepal and expressed their views that the establishment of the residential Embassy in Nepal amply reflects the depth of our bilateral relations ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on 22 January 1977.
The. Rt. Hon President and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister also thanked the Government of the United Arab Emirates for providing instance relief assistance it sent to help the victims of devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015. They also thanked the Government of UAE for providing job opportunity to the Nepalese youths that has significantly helped to uplift the standard of living of the people of Nepal. They further said Nepal has entered into an era of reconstruction and development after the promulgation of the Constitution of Nepal and Nepal is expecting substantial cooperation from the international community.
HH Sheikha Abdullah expressed his gratitude to the Rt. Hon. President and Rt. Hon. Prime Minister for receiving and welcoming him.HH Sheikh Abdullah offered condolences to the Government and people of Nepal for the loss of lives and properties due to the devastating earthquake last year.
He said the promulgation of the Constitution is a remarkable achievement and congratulated the Rt. Hon. President and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister for this success. He further said the political unrest in the past has obstructed in furthering our bilateral cooperation and we now need to compensate the missed opportunities by advancing our relations in different areas. Sheikh Abdulla expressed hope that there will be cooperation from the international community to Nepal in the days ahead.
Earlier in the afternoon, Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and HH Sheikh Abdullah held official talks at Hotel Yak and Yeti, Kathmandu. The Nepalese delegation to the talk was led by Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. The UAE delegation was headed by HH Shaikh Abdullah.
At the beginning, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Minister Mr. Thapa expressed sincere gratitude to the government of the UAE for its decision to establish residential Embassy in Nepal. He also expressed appreciation and gratitude to the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates for best wishes and prompt response by providing assistance to the Government and people of Nepal in the wake of devastating earthquake that struck Nepal last year.
HH Sheikh Abdullah expressed his gratitude for warm welcome and generous hospitality provided to him and his delegation and thanked for the cooperation extended to open residential embassy of the UAE in Kathmandu. HH Sheikh Abdullah appreciated the support extended by Nepal to UAE’s bid to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai and requested to have a National Pavilion of Nepal. During the meeting both Ministers expressed satisfaction over the excellent relations subsisting between two countries ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 22 January 1977. Both the sides agreed to hold official talks on regular basis as provided by the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing a Joint Committee for Cooperation signed on 23 June 2010.
At the talks, UAE side has requested Nepal to consider signing agreements on avoidance of double taxation, air service agreement and protection and promotion of investment. The Nepalese side assured the UAE delegation that Nepal is in the process of completing internal procedure to sign the air service agreement and agreement on promotion and protection of investment. Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs said that Nepal is considering the proposed agreement on avoidance of double taxation.
Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs proposed UAE side to sign an agreement on waiver of visa requirement for the holders of official and diplomatic passports. HH Sheikh Abdulla assured that the Government of the UAE will pay due consideration to the proposal.
The delegation of Nepal was composed of Foreign Secretary Mr. Shankar Das Bairagi, Mr. Narayan Gopal Malego, Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr. Surya Prasad Siwal, Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Mr. Prem Kumar Rai, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and other high ranking officials at the various Ministries of Government of Nepal. The members of the UAE delegation was composed of Mr. Mohamed Al Khaja, Chief of Staff, HE Ahmed Al Matroosi, Director of West Asia, Ms. Ohud Mohamed, Desk Officer and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE.
The Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs hosted a Luncheon in honour of HH Sheikh Abdullah at Hotel Yak and Yeti. Ministers, Members of Parliament, Secretaries to the Government of Nepal, Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Qatar and Arab Republic of Egypt, Former Nepalese Ambassadors and Charge d’ Affaires to the UAE and other high level officials from the Government of Nepal were present at the Luncheon.
After the Luncheon, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah inaugurated the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to Nepal at Lazimpat, Kathmandu at a special program in the presence of Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Secretary and other high ranking officials of the Government of Nepal.
HH Sheikh Abdullah left Kathmandu this evening. He was seen off by high ranking dignitaries of the Government of Nepal at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
Office of the Spokesperson
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Singha Durbar, Kathmandu
May 10, 2016