Foreign Minister Saud, US Secretary of State Blinken hold talks

KATHMANDU: Foreign Minister NP Saud held a bilateral meeting with the US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken at the Department of State in Washington DC on Monday.

During the meeting, they exchanged views on matters of common interest in bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common concern.

On the occasion, both sides expressed satisfaction over the current state of bilateral relations between Nepal and the USA while renewing their commitment to expand and deepen engagements across the areas of mutual interests, said the Embassy of Nepal based in Washington DC, USA.

The Foreign Minister highlighted development priorities of Nepal in the context of the country’s graduation from the least developed country and called for enhanced levels of support from the United States in the areas of trade and investment, market access, food security and IT sector, among others.

He requested the United States for reauthorisation and expansion of Nepal Trade Preference Program (NTPP) and GSP facilities by adding new exportable items of interest for Nepal.

Minister Saud thanked the US government for its continued cooperation for socio-economic development of Nepal, including the recent US assistance through USAID and Millennium Challenge Compact. Both sides stressed the importance of timely implementation of the projects under the MCC.

Appreciating Nepal’s progress in consolidating democratic governance, Secretary Blinken expressed that the US Government wishes to see Nepal as a strong and prosperous democracy. Secretary Blinken assured the Foreign Minister that the US would continue its support to Nepal’s development endeavors.

The two sides also exchanged views on Nepal-US cooperation in multilateral forums, and other matters of common concern in regional and global affairs, including the ongoing situation in the Middle-East.

The Foreign Minister signed the guest book at the State Department prior to the meeting.

During the bilateral meeting, Minister Saud was accompanied by Ambassador Sridhar Khatri and other senior officials from the Ministry and the Embassy. Secretary Blinken was accompanied by US Ambassador to Nepal Dean Thompson and senior officials from the Department of State.

Later in the evening, Ambassador Sridhar Khatri hosted a reception at his residence in honor of the Foreign Minister in presence of senior officials from various US agencies including the White House, Department of State, USAID, and MCC, as well as members of diplomatic corps, and representatives of Nepali American community.

Foreign Minister arrived in Washington DC for the bilateral visit on Monday morning.

 

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