Five decades of Nepal-Belgium diplomatic relations commemorated in Brussels
The Embassy of Nepal in Brussels and the FPS Foreign Affairs of Belgium together with the European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) jointly organized a commemorative program at the Palais d'Egmont in Brussels on 4 September 2014. Addressing the symposium the Nepalese Ambassador to the BENELUX and the European Union H.E. Mr. Ram Mani POKHAREL described the relations between Nepal and Belgium as friendly, cordial and cooperative and based on the principles of equality and mutual respect. He appreciated the Belgian support in Nepal's development efforts and pointed out tourism, trade, higher education and investment as prospective areas for further deepening the interactions between the two countries.
Director General, Bilateral Relations Affairs, FPS Foreign Affairs of Belgium Ambassador H.E. Johan Van DESSEL shed light on the 50 year history of Nepal-Belgium diplomatic relations and observed that high-level visits from both sides from time to time has further contributed to the growth of this relations. He expressed the support and solidarity of Belgian Government towards Nepal's ongoing political process and development endeavors towards a democratic, just and prosperous society. He mentioned that Belgium has provided about 25 million Euro of development cooperation to Nepal through multilateral channels such as the EU and the UN.
Speaking on the occasion, deputy head of South Asia Department of the European External Action Services (EEAS) Mr. Peter NAGY observed that Nepal-Belgium relations should also be viewed through the EU perspective since Belgium, as an important EU member state and host to the EU headquarters, has been making important contribution to EU's development cooperation to Nepal.
At the beginning, speaking from the Chair of the program Chief Executive Officer of EIAS Mr. Axel GOETHALS recounted his personal experiences of people-to-people relations between the two countries and emphasized to further develop productive relations by exploiting the goodwill existing between the peoples of the two countries.
Dr. Stefan HELSON, Director of Ecorem Environment Solutions highlighted the possibility of private sector collaboration in the hydropower sector of Nepal. Similarly, Dr. Eddy LAURIJSSEN, member of EIAS council shed light on the social aspect of the bilateral relations. At the end of the symposium, Mr. Kumar Raj KHAREL, DCM and Counsellor at the Embassy of Nepal in Brussels expressed vote of thanks to all the participants.