Nepal reiterates bilateral cooperation under Belt and Road

Kathmandu, Feb 28 (IANS) Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has reiterated that Kathmandu and Beijing will carry out bilateral development cooperation projects under the framework of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.

Dahal said this during his meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong on Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

Dahal told Yu that Nepal was working for the effective implementation of previous agreements reached between China and Nepal to enhance cross-border connectivity, trade and physical infrastructure development in Nepal, according to Rishiraj Adhikari, the Foreign Relations Advisor to the Prime Minister.

“I am confident bilateral cooperation projects will be carried out under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China,” Adhikari quoted Dahal as saying.

Nepal initially signed a framework Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China in December 2014 though it has yet to finalise cooperation projects to be developed under the initiative.

“Now the foreign ministries of the two countries are holding negotiations to finalise another MoU for cooperation projects to be developed under the Belt and Road Initiative in future,” Adhikari said.

Nepal and China agreed to enhance cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative introduced by the Chinese leadership when former Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli visited Beijing in March last year.

“Regarding Nepal-China bilateral cooperation, both sides agreed to synergise each other’s development planning, formulate appropriate bilateral cooperation programs and to carry out major projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative,” said part of a joint communique issued during Oli’s visit.

“Both sides agreed to strengthen connectivity, further step up the land and air links and improve the land transport infrastructure,” the communique stated.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister briefed the ambassador regarding his government’s preparations to hold local body elections on May 14 this year.

“We expect goodwill and support from China as my government is in a crucial phase of constitution implementation and holding local body elections in May this year,” the Prime Minister told the ambassador.