Nepal ready to sign OBOR, other major deals: Mahat

Cites ‘technical reasons’ for failure to ink any deal during PM visit

 

KATHMANDU, March 23: Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat said on Wednesday that Nepal has almost completed all the preparatory works to sign major agreements with China including One Belt One Road (OBOR), energy cooperation, cross-border economic zone, transit protocol and upgrading roads connecting Kodari and Rasuwagadhi border points.

 

He, however, claimed that those agreements will not be signed during the visit of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is leaving for the northern neighbor on Thursday night, because of “some technical reasons”.

He said that the two sides couldn’t sign the deals during Dahal’s China visit due to the visit of Chinese premier and foreign minister to Australia and New Zealand during the same time.

“There is no program to sign on any treaty, agreement, understanding during this visit,” read a statement issued by the minister during his press meet held at the ministry on Wednesday. “Preparations on our part have been completed on various important issues of bilateral relations and cooperation.”

Mahat explained that it was only due to some technical reasons that the deals couldn’t be signed during this visit. “This will be inked in near future,” he said. 

He urged one and all not to blame the Nepal government for the delay in signing the agreements.

Mahat claimed that the Nepal side has been working on the OBOR deal quietly. “The government wants to increase connectivity with China and this issue will be emphasized by Prime Minister Dahal during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.”

He explained that Nepal is for expanding its connectivity in railway, road, transmission lines, trade and transit areas.

He said Nepal has already informed the Chinese side about its readiness to sign the OBOR deal.

Dahal will attend the Boao conference till March 25 and fly to Beijing later on the same day. The prime minister is scheduled to call on Chinese President Xi Jinping during the visit. Minister Mahat however didn’t want to disclose the date.

After that the prime minister will address Chinese investors and attend some other public functions.

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