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For new times, leaders urge independent foreign policy

KATHMANDU, NOV 08 -

At a time when global security and strategic focus is shifting towards Asia, leaders from major political parties have urged that Nepal adopt an independent foreign policy without tilting towards any major power centre.

In a milieu of two major political transitions taking place this week, in the US and in China, at an interaction at the Reporters’ Club on Thursday, leaders from the UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist urged an independent foreign policy and the need to assure India and China that the Nepali territory will not be used against them.

Addressing the interaction, Nepali Congress leader Narayan Khadka, who closely follows international affairs, said, “It is sensed that China will continue to deepen its engagement with Nepal following the leadership transition and Nepal remains sensitive to China due to Tibet. Likewise, American focus towards Asia would have some effects on Nepal’s foreign policy dynamics.”

We need to reassess our foreign policy goal when tough rivalries and tensions escalate in the Asian continent but we need to balance our approach while conducting the foreign policy. We need to be decent and humble.”

“But I do not see any major policy shift from the United States after the re-election of Barack Obama,” Khadka added.

Ram Karki, chief of the Foreign Policy Department of the UCPN (Maoist), claimed that changes in guard in the United States and China were nothing new. “As the US is moving towards Asia-Pacific, we need to win the confidence of India and China so that the giant neighbours feel secure with Nepal.”

UML leader Pradip Gywali saw no fundamental change in the US and China’s policy on Nepal but said Beijing wanted to see stability in Nepal due to the Tibet factor. “We need to adopt an independent foreign policy for a balance between global and regional power centers.” Gyawali cautioned that Asia could see more tension in the coming days as a result of the “Re-balancing Asia”, which US President Obama announced some time ago.

“We should not play any card against any power centre. Kathmandu has been witnessing the killings of Muslim leaders due to the rivalry between Pakistan and India. This should not happen,” said Gywali. CPN-Maoist leader Dev Gurung said that Nepal’s progress and prosperity depends on its development, rather than regime changes in powerful countries.

Former diplomat Hiranyalal Shrestha said that tripartite and multilateral talks between Nepal, India and China and other South Asian countries would ensure

stability in the region. “The Cold War days are over. We need peaceful diplomacy to retain peace and tranquility here and in the entire region.”

 

Posted on: 2012-11-09 08:52


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