London: Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud has said that the friendship treaty signed between Nepal and the United Kingdom 100 years ago is a strong international bilateral mechanism.
Speaking at a ceremony held today to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nepal-UK friendship treaty at the same hall of Singha Darbar where it was signed, he said it was a matter of pride for Nepal to sign a treaty with a great power of that time when many countries in Africa and Asia were still fighting for their political independence and against colonization. The friendship treaty was signed on December 21, 1923 while diplomatic relations between Nepal and Britain were established in 1816.
Nepal signed the treaty as a sovereign and independent nation on the basis of equality, Minister Saud said and added that in the past hundred years Nepal’s relations with the UK have grown manifold and expanded in many areas. “Britain has been a development partner of Nepal for a long time, since Nepal was included in the list of countries receiving grant aid. We are happy that bilateral trade, tourism and investment between our two countries are on the rise,” the foreign minister said.
Stating that the Nepal-UK relationship has made great strides since the signing of the treaty, Minister Saud said that it has expanded to economic partnership, trade and investment, tourism, the British Gurkhas and other dimensions of people-to-people relations.
Foreign Secretary Sewa Lamsal said that Nepal’s international relations expanded following the treaty which was followed by Britain establishing its first embassy in Kathmandu. Stating that the friendship between Nepal and Britain is important for bilateral relations, she mentioned that Britain is the major development partner of Nepal.
British Ambassador to Nepal, Rob Fenn, said that due to the friendship treaty between the two countries Nepal never faced foreign occupation. He was of the view that Nepal located between two emerging economies in India and China should be able to benefit from the progress made by the two neighbors.
National Security Advisor Shankardas Bairagi, Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal, high ranking government officials, ambassadors, and representatives of diplomatic missions in Kathmandu were present at the ceremony.