Foreign Minister Urges Adherence to Diplomatic Code of Conduct

Foreign Minister Urges Adherence to Diplomatic Code of Conduct

Narayankaji Shrestha, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, has stressed the importance of Nepali leaders and government officials adhering strictly to diplomatic protocols when interacting with foreign counterparts or representatives.

Speaking at a meeting of the Federalism Strengthening and National Concerns Committee under the National Assembly on Monday, Minister Shrestha stated that it is mandatory to follow the diplomatic code of conduct during meetings with foreigners. He expressed concern that Nepali leaders often meet with foreign diplomats or political figures without proper briefing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or preparation on the agenda.

"When we meet with foreigners, we don't even take a briefing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of our government. What should we do? What are they likely to talk about?" Minister Shrestha questioned. He emphasized the need for high-level meetings to involve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with briefings and the presence of ministry staff to ensure Nepal's interests are protected.

Minister Shrestha revealed that letters have been sent to political parties, instructing them to follow the Diplomatic Code of Conduct of 2068 (2011 AD) when meeting with foreign representatives. Similar instructions have also been issued to government agencies.

"We have thought of monitoring it a little more strictly. It is not known who met whom. We don't even know what was discussed. What will be the national policy of Nepal?" the Foreign Minister expressed concern over the lack of adherence to the diplomatic code.

Turning to other matters, Minister Shrestha informed that efforts are underway to recall Nepali citizens recruited into the Russian army. While the Russian government has agreed in principle to cancel the agreement and send the Nepalis back, the modalities have not been worked out yet. Diplomatic efforts are ongoing, with Nepal even offering to send a delegation to Russia for negotiations.

Regarding the case of Nepali citizen Bipin Joshi, who is believed to be held by Hamas, the government is taking initiatives to publicize his status and urge mediators in the Israel-Hamas conflict to secure his release.

On the border disputes with India in Susta and Kalapani, Minister Shrestha reiterated Nepal's stance that the territories should formally come under Nepal's sovereignty and geographical integrity. He expressed hope for a diplomatic solution, emphasizing the need for India to understand the recommendations of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report and make it an agenda for discussion between the two countries.

Minister Shrestha also affirmed Nepal's commitment to maintaining friendly relations with both neighboring countries, India and China, and efforts to strengthen ties with both nations.

The call for strict adherence to diplomatic protocols comes amid concerns over potential missteps in Nepal's foreign engagements, which could strain its relationships with international partners. The government's emphasis on following the established code of conduct aims to safeguard Nepal's national interests and maintain a consistent and well-informed approach to diplomacy.

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