Kathmandu [Nepal], May 28 (ANI): On the occasion of 75 years of US-Nepal diplomatic ties, Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is set to visit Washington in mid-July, in the first official visit by a Nepali prime minister in two decades.
The Prime Ministers of Nepal have been regularly visiting the US, but mostly to New York. However, these visits were not part of bilateral visits and therefore this is the first official high-level trip from Nepal.
PM Deuba is expected to visit Washington from July 14 to 16, said diplomatic and government sources. Given the tight schedule of US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and senior American officials, two windows are kept for PM Deuba's visit, the Kathmandu post reported.
The Nepalese PM could either visit US in early July or in mid-June.
Govinda Pariyar, press chief to Prime Minister Deuba, said, "The Prime Minister will be visiting the United States this year. Both sides are working on dates,"
He added, "He will be participating in the second Summit for Democracy. Anyway, the PM will be attending the coming session of the United Nations General Assembly." US Embassy in Kathmandu and Nepal's Foreign Ministry will decide on the dates after which it will be made public.
Pariyar while speaking with Nepalese media outlet the Kathmandu Post said, "Once his meetings and other engagements in the US are fixed, the visit will be announced."
Despite sharing such longstanding ties, there have not been many high-level exchanges between the two countries.
Lately, Washington seems to be showing a renewed interest in sending high-level officials to Kathmandu. Just last week, US Under Secretary of State Uzra Zeya concluded her three-day Nepal visit, the highest-level visit since 2012.
The recent highest-level official visit from Nepal to the United States took place in December 2018 when then foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali flew to Washington, marking the first visit by a Nepali foreign minister in 17 years.
In the wake of Nepali communist leaders' continued opposition to the Millennium Challenge Corporation Nepal Compact (MCC), its ratification got delayed, which vexed Washington to the extent that it even warned of reviewing its Nepal policy should Kathmandu fail to ratify the grant.
Prime Minister Deuba, who also leads the five-party coalition, however, played an instrumental role in getting the grant ratified.
The US Government's MCC signed the pact with the Government of Nepal in September 2017 aimed at maintaining road quality, increasing the availability and reliability of electricity, and facilitating cross-border electricity trade between Nepal and India--helping to spur investments, accelerate economic growth, and reduce poverty.
"The recent passage of the MCC compact, Nepal's successful local elections and 75 years of bilateral ties just simply make a visit to Washington at the prime ministerial level imperative," said Suresh Chailse, Nepal's former ambassador to the United States. "The visit will certainly help further strengthen Nepal-US ties." (ANI)