Prime Minister Sushil KOIRALA meets European Council President Van ROMPUY in Brussels
Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Mr. Sushil KOIRALA met His Excellency President of the European Council Mr. Herman Van ROMPUY at the latter's office in the Consilium Building in Brussels on 29 September 2014. During the talks, the two leaders shared views on various aspects of Nepal-EU bilateral relations as well as on issues of concern in the regional and international affairs. Prime Minister KOIRALA updated the Councils President on the latest political situation and constitution writing process in Nepal. He thanked the European Union for their continued support for Nepal's transition to democracy and her economic development efforts. The Prime Minister shared with the President the sincere efforts of his Government and its coalition partners towards forging a national consensus and understanding on the contentious issues in the proposed constitution so that the Constitution Assembly would not have to resort to the normal democratic process of majority voting for resolving those differences. He expressed confidence that Nepal will be able to finish the writing of new constitution by the stipulated date of 8 February 2015.
The Prime Minister expressed hope that despite the upcoming changes in the EU leadership Nepal will continue to receive EU goodwill and support in her journey towards more democratic, inclusive, just and prosperous society in the coming days. He also expressed gratitude and appreciation for EU's significant increase of its development cooperation aid to Nepal for its current financing period of 2014 – 2020. He also expressed hope that in the context of Nepal's sterling performance on meeting Millennium Development Goals and huge investment shortfalls laying ahead on her way to meeting the ambitious objective of graduating Nepal from the LDC status to a Developing country status, Nepal will continue receiving support and cooperation from her trusted development partners such as EU as well as through the UN and other international forums and processes.
Speaking on the same occasion after the meet, President of the European Council Mr. ROMPUY welcomed the Prime Minister KOIRALA to Brussels in the first-ever visit of a Nepalese Prime Minister to the European Council. He observed that the visit is a sign of enhancing relations between the European Union and Nepal.
Paying his respect to to those who were affected by the recent floods and landslides in Nepal the President mentioned that the EU has decided to provide emergency assistance to the affected as the sign of solidarity and also in the context of EU's long-term support to nepal to strengthen her capacities to tackle natural disasters and stepping up considerably EU's development cooperation which has been recently increased by three-fold to the tune of 360 million Euros for the period of 2014 – 2020. He expressed the hope that the new development cooperation will stimulate sustainable development in rural areas, increase access to quality education for both girls and boys, and support democratization, decentralization and public finance management for the benefit of all people in Nepal.
While appreciating Nepal's achievements after a difficult period in its history, he also mentioned of many challenges facing Nepal, especially in promoting national reconciliation and advancing transitional justice to overcome the past.
Speaking about Nepal's ongoing political process Mr. ROMPUY welcomed the ongoing efforts by the political parties to deliver a democratic and inclusive Constitution by the planned timeframe of early 2015. He expressed the opinion that the new constitution will be a crucial step forward in building strong democratic institutions and achieving further political stability, which will also benefit economic development.
President ROMPUY welcomed the Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which Nepal is going to host in Kathmandu and expressed hope that the summit will provide a good opportunity to facilitate trade and investments and promote political dialogue and cooperation. He also remarked that the European Union
remains supportive of SAARC process, given EU's own good experiences in regional integration.
In course of Brussels visit from 29 to 1 October 2014 on his way from New York to Kathmandu, Prime Minister KOIRALA also met His Excellency President of the European Council Mr. Herman Van ROMPUY in Brussels yesterday, 29 September, and Prime Minister of Luxembourg today in Luxembourg City.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by H.E. Ambassador Ram Mani POKHAREL, Acting Foreign Secretary Mr. Shanker Das BAIRAGI, Political Advisor to the Prime Minister Ms. Mridula KOIRALA, as well as other Nepalese officials during the bilateral talks.