| April 21, 2019

Vice-President leaves for China, DPM Thapa off to India

KATHMANDU, June 10: Leading an 11-member delegation, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun has left for China Friday morning. Pun is visiting the northern neighbor to participate in the 4th China-South Asia Expo and the 24th Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair to be held in Kunming from June 12.

The vice president is scheduled to address the inauguration ceremony of CSA Expo and 11th China – South Asia Business Forum in Kunming on June 12. He is also scheduled to pay a courtesy call on his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao. Highly-placed Chinese officials will meet Vice-President Pun.
Pun's entourage includes his wife Hastamali Pun, Secretary at the Vice-President's Office Rajendra Kishore Kshatri, Pun's personal secretary Suk Bahadur Roka, his press coordinator Manoj Gharti, his ADC Lieutenant Colonel Manoj Kumar Silwal, among others.

Deputy Prime Minister Chitra Bahadur KC, ministers, heads of diplomatic missions in Kathmandu, Chief Secretary, Chief of Army Staff, and chiefs of Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department saw off Vice President Pun at the Tribhuvan International Airport this morning.

This is the maiden foreign visit of Pun after he was elected the Vice President. He is scheduled to return home on June 16.

Thapa off to India

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kamal Thapa has left for India this morning in an ice-breaking event as there has been no high-level dialogues between the two countries after the government of Nepal recalled its ambassador to Delhi and cancelled President Bidya Bhandari's planned India visit.

According to Thapa's Press Advisor Mohan Shrestha, the DPM is visiting India to attend the convocation ceremony of South Asian University, an international university sponsored by the eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

"He will attend the convocation ceremony of the university as Nepal is the chair of South Asian Council of Ministers. In the meantime, he will call on Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday," said Shrestha.

"The visit will strengthen the bilateral relation between Nepal and India," he added, while refusing to make further comments.

According to sources, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has considered DPM's visit as a meaningful event when there was no high-level dialogue at bilateral level after the government of Nepal decided to recall its ambassador in Delhi, Deep Kumar Upadhyaya, and cancelled the already scheduled India visit of President Bidya Devi Bhandari.

The sources said that DPM Thapa will also hold meetings with other senior officials and political leaders in India and discuss the political situation in Nepal after the promulgation of the constitution.

"The ministry and the Nepali embassy in Delhi have been working to arrange Thapa's meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi but there is a slim chance of it as Indian PM is currently on a US visit," said a source.