For the first time in nearly 200-years of bilateral relations, Nepal and UK have agreed to set up a ‘consulation mechanism’ between them.
Foreign secretary Arjun Bahadur Thapa and UK’s Permanent Under-Secretary Sir Simon Frazer signed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for establishing the Consultation Mechanism between the United Kingdom and Nepal last week at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London.
“The mechanism is a bilateral body and shall hold periodic meetings in the capitals of two nations. It aims at enhancing friendly cooperation and exchanges between the two countries,” said a press statement issued by the Nepali embassy in London.
“The mechanism will help not only to identify new areas of cooperation but also to review and consolidate past cooperation for mutual benefit,” said Dr Suresh C. Chalise, Nepalese envoy to the UK. “It’s a historic shared gift to both the countries,” he added.
During the signing ceremony, Foreign Secretary Thapa and Permanent Under-Secretary Sir Fraser also discussed on a wide range of issues including the arrest of Col Kumar Lama, exemption of Visa requirement for the diplomats and official passports.
The British police had filed a case against Colonel Lama on charge of war crimes during the civil war in Nepal. Col. Lama denies those charges.
Ambassador Chalise, Deputy Chief of the Mission Tej Bahadur Chhetri and Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Europe division Tara Prasad Pokharel were also present in the meeting.
Foreign Secretary Thapa also called on Prosperity Director Andrew Mitchell at the FCO. They deliberated on issues including climate change, illegal trade of wildlife products in the region, possibility of investment on hydro power sector in Nepal, among others. He also met South Asia and Afghanistan Director Neil Crompton and discussed issues of mutual interest.
Foreign Secretary Thapa was in London to take part in a function to kick off celebrations to mark the 200-years of Nepal-UK relations.