Remarks by Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali
at the Press Briefing held after the official talks
with Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria
Her Excellency Dr. Karin Kneissl
Hotel Yak and Yeti, Friday, 22 February 2019, Kathmandu
Your Excellency Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria Dr. Karin Kneissl
Friends from Media, and
Ladies and Gentlemen
Her Excellency Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria Dr. Karin Kneissl and I had delegation-level official talks a while ago.
At the outset, I express my sincere thanks to Dr. Karin Kneissl for accepting my invitation to visit Nepal. I feel truly honoured to have the opportunity to welcome Her Excellency and her delegation to Nepal.
Minister Kneisssl will also call on the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister this afternoon and will also address a talk programme to be organized by Institute of Foreign Affairs in the evening today.
I had the honour to visit Austria in September last year. Minister Kneissl’s return visit after five months is a reflection of the close and deep cooperation between our two countries as well as the willingness on both sides to further enhance this.
In 2019, we are observing the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations. No other time would have been more opportune than this to have such high-level delegation in Nepal. I am fully confident that this will be just a beginning and that there will be many more occasions in which leaderships of our countries will cross their paths.
Needless to say, Nepal and Austria have been enjoying excellent bilateral relations and they are growing progressively. These relations are based on mutual trust, cooperation and respect towards each-other’s aspirations.
Notwithstanding the geographical distance, our two countries have worked together at bilateral and multilateral levels in the issues of mutual interest. We have been working together to further strengthen our bilateral relations and build on the cooperation and collaboration at the multilateral forums.
Nepal values its relations with Austria highly as a good friend. We remain grateful to Austria for its support and cooperation in our development endeavours including in the areas of heritage preservation.
Our engagements are critical not least in light of Austria being an important member of the European Union and a strong supporter of UN system, also evident from its hosting of a number of UN agencies in Vienna. We highly appreciate Austria’s role in the multilateral forum especially with regard to the issues of LLDCs.
Both Nepal and Austria have many similarities and also have the legacy of their own rich history. We are both the land-locked countries. Mountainous topography and mountaineering culture common to our identity. And, more importantly we highly value and respect each-other’s aspirations.
The peoples of our two countries have tremendous love and goodwill of towards each other. This can be a strong foundation to promote people-to-people exchanges.
In my meeting with Minister Kneissl, we reviewed the status of Nepal-Austria relations and explored ways to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation.
We agreed to work closely at bilateral and multilateral levels in order to promote our relations and take them to newer heights. We dwelt on the issues such as trade, investment, technology transfer, sustainable development, environmental protection, clean energy and counter terrorism, among others.
I shared with her the major priorities of the present Government of Nepal and also discussed the goal of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’. I was happy to get reassured by the Minister of Austria’s goodwill and support in Nepal’s development endeavors.
I also shared with Minister Kneissl the Government’s plan to host the Investment Summit on 29-30 March 2019. In addition, we discussed the possibility of cooperation in light of our preparations to observe 2020 as Visit Nepal year.
We also agreed to continue to work collaboratively in the forums including the United Nations.
To conclude, I, once again, thank the Minister Kneissl and her delegation for visiting Nepal and wish them a pleasant stay.
A visit or an anniversary is not just an occasion to take stock of what has happened thus far. It is more an opportunity to ‘look up to the future’ with new vigour and energy. I am sure this visit will not be an exception in this regard. Let’s work collectively to further strengthen Nepal-Austria relations!
I thank you.