Foreign Minister says no agreement, decision on joint military exercise during BIMSTEC Summit

Gyawali in Russia and Serbia


KATHMANDU, Sept 5: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, has said the matter of holding mutual military exercise has not been incorporated in any mechanism of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation).

Briefing the International Relations Committee remaining under the House of Representatives, today about the agenda passed by the recent BIMSTEC Summit, the foreign minister said the Summit did not dwell on the issue of holding the joint military exercise as reported in media. Nepal hosted the Summit in Kathmandu on August 30-31.

He went on to say that no decision and agreement capable of causing adverse impact on national sovereignty was made during the Summit. The issue of joint military exercise was not entered in all three layers of meetings of the BIMSTEC (the Special SOM, ministerial-level and the Summit),” he added.

Committee member Bhim Bahadur Rawal claimed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at the inaugural session of the Summit stated that he would welcome the member States to India for joint military exercise in the second week of September and he was also informed by the Nepal’s authority concerned that a military team was preparing to leave for India for the same. As he said, such practice would be against the concept and spirit of BIMSTEC.

Committee member Dr Narayan Khadka demanded the next round of meeting to broadly discuss on the issues related to the Summit.

Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shanker Das Bairagi, who was present in the meeting, viewed that statements given by the Heads of the State or government from the BIMSTEC member States during their addresses to the Summit could not be taken as common views. RSS