Our foreign policy is based on national interest not ideology: FM Gyawali

Pradeep Gyawali

KATHMANDU: Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has clarified that the American aid Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) are separate from the other. He clarified this in the party secretariat committee meeting while giving his opinion on this matter.

FM Gyawali said “MCC and IPC are separate. Nepal has been pushing for this matter for a while. The MCC which was declared under President Bush back in 2002 and established by the United States Congress in 2004, had Nepal seek support from the year 2008. It was only in 2011 that Nepal was considered to be eligible for the aid. This matter was discussed back in 2014 and through dialogue under Nepali Congress it was formalized under the Maoist government in 2017, and an agreement was made”.

FM Gyawali further said that “IPS was established well before November 2017. We cannot take these two subjects and create a dispute. The MCC has many countries receiving aid which is not limited to the Indo-Pacific region. There are European nations, Central Asian nations, West African nations, Latin American nations and left-leaning nations of Bolivia and Nicaragua”

FM Gyawali also spoke about the changing context of the financial and global world where protectionist policies have dominated developed nations. Not only the US, but the EU, China, Canada, and India will have trade wars that will create a long term impact on developing countries.

In his paper that was submitted during the meeting, FM Gyawali spoke about issues facing the global world such as multilateralism, the United Nations, World Trade Organization, the Paris Climate Agreement, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and weakening human rights. He stressed the challenges posed by climate change putting humanity at risk of its existence. He also spoke of the repressive character of capitalism that for the sake of profit was putting humanity in grave danger.

He spoke about Artificial intelligence and the shrinking employment sector where workers’ rights were continuously insecure. Due to the changes in the use and production of AI and regulations from the International Labor Organization the impact would be felt by the working class leading to uncertainty and instability for the future.

Gyawali further brought to notice regarding worldwide resentment of the masses against the system. Large demonstrations have been witnessed in capitalistic economies of France and Chile whereas even the Leftist governments of Nicaragua and Bolivia had their share of demonstrations.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) cannot be understood as one subject, they are two different aspects.

BRI is a broad concept that includes development, while IPS is an important aspect of US security and its foreign policy. Presenting the two as one subject will lead to confusion, and it is best not to use geographical analysis of “west” and “east”. “The subjects of the West are not entirely negative, and not all the subjects in the East are positive”.

Our present situation has severe limitations. We cannot divide ourselves into capitalists and socialists creating polarization because all movements are defensive with changing times.

International relations today are not guided by ideologies but by strong national interest and international laws. We have to present ourselves in a similar manner keeping in mind the boundaries of principles where we are guided as engineers of compatibility and advocates of international law. We have to be committed to justice, multilateralism and human rights. Our allegiance to socialism remains but our relations thereafter are multidimensional.

We must maintain a cordial and dignified relation with each nation. We must move beyond rhetoric and partisan politics.

We can only contribute to the international communist movement by creating a strong democratic nation with social justice as its foundation. Any impulsive action or unnecessary excitement would be damaging, and it is worth learning from our neighbor China that has largely contributed to the international socialist movement by first building a strong nation.

For the first time, Nepal has raised the matter of the Tripartite Treaty on the recruitment of Gorkha soldiers. The PM earlier in June had submitted the same to his British counterpart, and I have written a formal letter to the UK body which was also covered by Reuters. The same views have been made public.

The fact that Nepal has allowed Nepali women to enroll in the British Army is entirely misinformed, and delusive. The Gorkha recruitment only allows men to be a part of the Army, and to include women, the treaty would have to be reviewed and ratified. The United Kingdom will likely approach Nepal in this regard, and we are also looking to resolve the problem of the Ex-Gorkha soldiers.

Regarding Kalapani, Lipulek, and Limpiadhura, our government has already clarified that these areas belong to us. Any unilateral decision will not be acceptable to us, and that this issue will be resolved using concrete diplomatic methods.  The PM had called an all-party meeting on November 10th and national support was sought. On November 15th it was decided that a committee will be formed to see the boundaries of Nepal, India and Nepal China. Work has begun in this regard.

For the first time in history on November 20th, Nepal had sent a diplomatic note putting our version, and on 23rd November a formal letter was sent to India. The PM has said publicly that the Indian Army stationed in the Kalapani area will be removed and our government’s vision in this matter is strong and clear. We have opened all channels for dialogue and discussion to resolve the issue at the earliest.

(File Photo)