Nepal to form policy review panel to redefine foreign policy

| Updated: Dec 26, 2016 19:57 IST

Kathmandu [Nepal], Dec. 26 (ANI): The Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs is constituting a panel to comprehensively review its current foreign policy and suggest a new one in the changed global, regional and domestic contexts. While the bureaucratic leadership at the Ministry has been preparing the terms and references for the proposed panel, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat is trying to forge a political consensus on making it a common and agreed document for all, reports the Kathmandu Post. Apart from experts in the field, the panel will also have representations from all major political parties. With the coalition partners Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and Nepali Congress apparently agreeing on the names already, Mahat is holding meetings with senior CPN (UML) leaders to get them on board. However, according to sources, the UML is reluctant to send the names. Some of the conditions like Terms of Reference (ToR), secretariat, functional modality, budget and logistics are yet be decided. At a time when Nepal lacks clear and agreed foreign policy documents, a new text is expected to provide a set of guidelines to the successive governments in the future. Welcoming the move, foreign policy and security expert Geja Sharma Wagle said that an expert panel should be constituted to review and redefine the foreign policy which is appropriate too. "What we need is a country-specific foreign policy. Besides relations with immediate neighbours, Saarc countries, our new foreign policy goal should also cover relations with multilateral organisations, donors, economic diplomacy, LDCs nations, relations with major powers, labour destination countries," said Wagle. Nepal's current foreign policy is defined and based on UN Charter, non-aligned, SAARC charter and Panchasheel which many consider as vague. (ANI)