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Foreign relations of Nepal

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Title: Foreign relations of Nepal  
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Foreign relations of Nepal

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Foreign relations

The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has traditionally maintained a non-aligned policy and enjoys friendly relations with neighboring countries. As a small, landlocked country wedged between two larger and far stronger powers, Nepal maintains good relations with both the People's Republic of China and India.

Constitutionally, foreign policy is to be guided by “the principles of the United Nations Charter, nonalignment, Panchsheel [five principles of peaceful coexistence], international law and the value of world peace.” In practice, foreign policy has not been directed toward projecting influence internationally but toward preserving autonomy and addressing domestic economic and security issues.

Nepal’s most substantive international relations are perhaps with international economic institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, a multilateral economic development association. Nepal also has strong bilateral relations with major providers of economic and military aid, such as France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Switzerland, the United States, and particularly the United Kingdom, with whom military ties date to the nineteenth century. The country's external relations are primarily managed by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


  • Multilateral relations of Nepal 1
  • Human rights issues 2
  • International disputes 3
  • Illicit drugs 4
  • Bilateral Relations 5
    • Argentina 5.1
    • People's Republic of Bangladesh 5.2
    • Bhutan 5.3
    • Denmark 5.4
    • European Union 5.5
    • Finland 5.6
    • Germany 5.7
    • Holy See 5.8
    • India 5.9
    • Israel 5.10
    • Japan 5.11
    • Malaysia 5.12
    • Norway 5.13
    • Pakistan 5.14
    • People's Republic of China 5.15
    • Russia 5.16
    • United Kingdom 5.17
    • United States 5.18
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Multilateral relations of Nepal

Nepal has played an active role in the formation of the economic development-oriented South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and is the site of its secretariat. On international issues, Nepal follows a nonaligned policy and often votes with the Non-Aligned Movement in the United Nations. Nepal participates in a number of UN specialized agencies and is a member of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Colombo Plan, and the Asian Development Bank.

Human rights issues

Police forces sometimes use excessive force in quelling violent demonstrations, or demonstrations that may upset 'friendly countries'. In addition, there have been reports of torture under detention and widespread reports of custodial abuse. In 2000, the government established the National Human Rights Commission, a government-appointed commission with a mandate to investigate human rights violations. To date, the Commission has investigated 51 complaints.

Some restrictions continue on freedom of expression. Trafficking in women and child labour remain serious problems. Discrimination against women and lower castes is prevalent.

International disputes

A joint border commission continues to work on small disputed sections of the border with India; India has instituted a stricter border regime to restrict transit of Maoist insurgents.

Illicit drugs

Illicit production of cannabis for domestic and international drug markets continues to ask as an international problem, as do rumours that the country operates as a transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West

Bilateral Relations


Nepal and Argentina established diplomatic relations on January 1, 1962. The relations between Nepal and Argentina are based on goodwill, friendship and mutual understanding. The Argentinean Government has shown interest to extend technical cooperation on leather processing industries in Nepal under the South-South Cooperation. However, the Argentinean proposal has not been materialized yet. Nepal's trade balance with Argentina is in favour of Argentina. There is no significant figure of export from Nepal. Major commodities imported by Nepal from Argentina are Crude soybean oil, soybean oil, vegetable waxes, sun flower oil and maize.[1]

People's Republic of Bangladesh

Nepal has good bilateral relations with Bangladesh as they view the latter nation as a great access to the sea giving them the opportunity to develop potential transit and trade facilities and be less dependent on India and China. Nepal recognised Bangladesh on 16 January 1972[2] and relations further improved after the military coup on August 1975. The turning point for the two nations occurred in April 1976, signing a four-point agreement on technical cooperation, trade, transit and civil aviation. They both seek cooperation in the fields of power generation and development of water resources. In 1986, relations further improved when Bangladesh insisted Nepal should be included on a deal regarding the distribution of water from the Ganges River.[3]


Relations with Bhutan have been strained since 1992 over the nationality and possible repatriation of refugees from Bhutan.[4]


See Denmark–Nepal relations.

European Union

The role of the European Union is to present, explain and implement EU policies, analyze and report on the political, social, and economic situation in Nepal, and to conducts negotiations in accordance with a given mandate.[5]



Nepal-Germany Relations

Political Relations

Diplomatic relations between Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and the Federal Republic of Germany were established on 4 April 1958. Since then relations between the two countries have been growing on the basis of friendship and mutual cooperation. The German Government has positively supported the ongoing peace process of Nepal including the formation of government following the historic elections of the Constituent Assembly in April 2008. Both countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations with various programmes in 2008. The Government of Nepal has appointed Honorary Consuls General in Munich and Stuttgart cities and Honorary Consuls in Frankfurt am Main, Cologne and Hamburg cities. Exchange of visits between two countries has taken place at different levels including highest levels. The visits have contributed to further strengthening close and cordial bilateral relations. Visits from the Nepalese side The most recent one is the visit of the then Prime Minister Hon’ble Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and the then Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon’ble Mr. Upendra Yadav. The Prime Minister made a stopover in Frankfurt on 21 and 22 September 2008 on his way to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York. During his sojourn, he addressed a conference of the Nepali Ambassadors and Head of Missions based in Europe and gave pertinent directives to them to promote an economic diplomacy through utilisation of external private investments in Nepal’s mega projects, infrastructure schemes and hydro-electric project, and familiarise the host governments with the Government’s objective of taking the peace process to its logical conclusion through institutionalisation of Federal Democratic Republic and drafting of a new Constitution. The Prime Minister also visited the Karl Max Museum in Trier on 21 September 2008. Likewise, the then Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon’ble Mr. Upendra Yadav visited Germany from March 9 to 13, 2009 leading a delegation. During his visit, he made an inaugural address of the Nepal Presentation programme amid the gathering of German and Nepalese businessmen and industrialists on March 10, 2009, which was organised as a part of celebrations to mark the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Nepal and Germany. The Foreign Minister also held bilateral meeting with German Acting Federal Foreign Minister, H. E. Mr. Guenter Gloser on March 11, 2009. During the bilateral meeting entire gamut of bilateral relations including regional and international issues were discussed. Foreign Minister Yadav also had a meeting with Vice-President of the German Lower House of Parliament (Bundestag) Dr. Wolfgang Thierse on March 13, 2009. During the stay in Berlin, he also visited the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Friedrich Ebert Foundation and met their Chairman Prof. Dr. Bernhard Vogel, and Chairwoman Dr. Anke Fuchs respectively. Visits from the German Side

- President Heinrich Luebke paid an official visit to Nepal in July 1967. - Chancellor Helmut Kohl paid an official visit to Nepal in 1987 - President Prof. Dr. Roman Herzog paid a state visit to Nepal from 25 to 30 November 1996. Besides these, there have been frequent visits of parliamentary delegations of the German Bundestag in the recent years.

German policy towards Nepal

Establishment of peace and stability, multi-party democracy, promotion of human rights, alleviation of poverty, and consolidation of good governance, and sound socio-economic structures are some of the major thrust areas of German policy towards Nepal.

Economic Cooperation

With the start of bilateral cooperation in 1961 in the form of technical assistance for the establishment of the Technical Training Institute at Thapathali, the present level of bilateral cooperation covers the core sectors of socio-economic development of Nepal with the volume of bilateral aid committed by Germany to Nepal totalling approximately Euro 800 million. There is a bilateral consultation mechanism between the Finance Ministry of Nepal and the Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation (BMZ) of Germany which is held normally every two years at the secretary level. The bilateral consultation meeting decides the areas of cooperation of the German Government to Nepal, which were held in Kathmandu in 2004, 2006 and on December 15–16, 2008. Germany is one of the major donors for Nepal's development efforts. Germany is also a member of Nepal Development Forum. The German Development Bank (KfW) has taken a keen interest in Nepal’s development. Besides, a number of German non-governmental organisations as well as institutions like German Technical Services (GTZ), German Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD) and German Volunteers Service (DED) are very active in promoting our socio-economic development. The German Government’s present priority areas of development cooperation to Nepal as agreed between the two Governments are - renewable energy and energy efficiency, health and family planning, and promotion of local self-governance and civil society. Besides, ongoing peace process is another area of German assistance to Nepal. Among the projects under the German cooperation, the Middle-Marsyangdi Hydro Electric Project is a major one. The project was funded by German Development Bank (KfW), Government of Nepal and Nepal Electricity Authority and has the installed capacity of 70 MW. The project has already been inaugurated by Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on 14 December 2008. A high-level German delegation from the Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation (BMZ) was in Nepal to take part in the inauguration programme.

Bilateral Trade

Although Germany maintains the biggest export market for Nepali products, export of Nepalese products to Germany has been declining since 1999. Lately, the decline in the export of woollen carpets has been the main reason for decrease in overall export to Germany. Besides carpet, exports to Germany from Nepal include handicraft, silver jewellery, woollen and pashmina goods, Nepalese paper and paper products, tea, medicinal herbs and essential oils, readymade garments, spices, honey etc. Some joint venture companies have started export of micro- transformers and high-value garments and knitwear to the German market. Nepal imports mainly industrial raw materials, chemicals, machinery equipment and parts, electric and electronic goods, vehicles etc. from Germany. Following table shows the balance of trade situation of Nepal with Germany in recent years.

(Value in ‘000 Nepalese Rupees) Year Export Import Balance of Trade 2002/2003 3,555,327 2,278,356 1,276,971 (+ve) 2003/2004 3,567,036 1,977,896 1,589,140 (+ve) 2004/2005 3,121,753 1,570,917 1,550,836 (+ve) 2005/2006 2,843,770 2,761,788 81,982 (+ve) 2006/2007 2,573,710 2,432,693 141,017 (+ve) 2007/2008 2,332,051 3,430,346 1,098,294 (-ve) Source: Trade and Export Promotion Centre

Tourist Arrival from Germany Apart from trade, Germany is also important for the promotion of Nepal's tourism industry. The tourist inflow in Nepal by air from Germany in the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 were 12,098, 16,920 and 16,228 respectively. But in recent months, the German tourists visiting Nepal is increasing. Joint Venture from Germany German investments in Nepal are basically focused in the areas of hotel service, Ayurvedic and herbal medicines, solar energy, computer software development, tea farming and processing, and hydropower generation. As of mid April 2006, 19 joint ventures are operating, 2 joint ventures are under construction, 2 joint ventures are licensed, and 20 joint ventures are approved under the German investment in Nepal. Nepalese Nationals in Germany The official figure of the German Government shows that there are 2,552 Nepalese in Germany until December 2008. Among them, 1596 are males and 956 females. Besides, number of Nepali students coming to Germany is increasing in the recent years. Miscellaneous A cultural agreement was signed between Nepal and Germany in 1992 as a framework for implementing numerous projects largely aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of Nepal. A cooperation agreement between Deutsche Welle and Radio Nepal has been in effect since 1975. Nepal is also a priority country of the German Research Foundation (DFG). The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) grants regular scholarships to Nepal. As of December 2009.[6]

Holy See

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1985. The Holy See has a nunciature in the country. Nepal Embassy, Berlin is accredited as non-residential embassy for Holy See.*Nepal (nunciature)

  • Nepal: Pope leads world shock


Because of strong cultural, religious, linguistic, and economic ties, Nepal's association with India traditionally has been close. India and Nepal restored trade relations in 1990, after a break caused by India's security concerns over Nepal's relations with the PRC. A bilateral trade treaty was signed in 1996. Citizens of the two countries can travel to the other without visa requirements. Nepalese citizens are permitted to stay and work in India freely. Nepal's economy has also been enormously benefited from the surge in India's economy.No visa or travel document required for Indians or Nepalese to visit each other country and can settle permanently like citizen.


King Mahendra of Nepal (second from left) in a 1958 visit to Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science.

Israel-Nepal relations are based on mutual security concerns.[7]

Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister of Nepal from 1959 to 1960, had a strongly pro-Israel foreign policy. King Mahendra visited Israel in 1963 and maintained Koirala's special relationship.[8]


Diplomatic relations were established in September 1956. Japan has an embassy in Kathmandu. Nepal has an embassy in Tokyo. The cultural ties between Nepal and Japan date back to much earlier days before direct people to people contact started in 1899.[9] Japan is one of the largest aid donors to Nepal.[10][11]


Malaysia has an embassy in Kathmandu,[12] and Nepal has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur.[13] Both countries established diplomatic relations on 1 January 1960,[14] with bilateral relations between Malaysia and Nepal have developed from historic grounds.[15]


Diplomatic relations were established on 26 January 1973. Norway established an embassy in Kathmandu in 2000.[16][17] Norway's aid to Nepal was around 2 million NOK in 2008. Norwegian aid prioritizes education, good governance and energy.

In 2008, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim visited Nepal.[18] In 2009, Prime Minister Prachanda visited Norway.[19] In May 2008, a small bomb exploded outside the Norwegian embassy in Kathmandu. No one was injured.[20][21]


The bilateral relations between Nepal and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan were fully established between 1962 and 1963.[22] Both nations have since sought to expand trade, strategic cooperation.

People's Republic of China

Nepal formally established relations with the PRC in 1955, and since then their bilateral relations have generally been very good. As much as 20 thousand Tibetan refugees live in Nepal and this has been a major issue of concern between China and Nepal. Kathmandu has in several instances been brutally cracking down on the activities of the Tibetans receiving international condemnation. In 2005, Nepalese Foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey called China "an all weather friend" and King Gyanendra's regime was also instrumental in inducting China into the SAARC.


Nepal and the Soviet Union had established diplomatic relations in 1956. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nepal had exteneded full diplomatic recognition to the Russian Federation as its legal successor. Since then numerous bilateral meetings have taken place between both sides. Since 1992 numerous Nepalese students have gone to Russia for higher studies on a financial basis. In October 2005 the Foreign ministers of both countries met to discuss cooperation on a variety of issues including political, economic, military, educational, and cultural. Both countries maintain embassies in each other's capitals. Russia has an embassy in Katmandu while Nepal has an embassy in Moscow.

Embassy of Nepal in Washington, D.C.

United Kingdom

Relations between the UK and Nepal have historically been friendly and there have been close links between the Royal Families, although relations deteriorated when the King took power in 2005. A treaty of friendship was signed in 1923. The UK is highly regarded in Nepal. This is through historical ties, development assistance and long term support in the struggle for democratic peace in Nepal. Also of note is that through the recruitment of Gurkha soldiers by the British Army since the 19th century, Nepal has had links with the United Kingdom.

United States

  • The United States opened its Kathmandu Embassy in 1959.
  • Relations between the two countries have always been strong. U.S. policy objectives toward Nepal center on helping Nepal build a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic society.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Bangladesh Gains in Favor". Sarasota, Florida, USA: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, via Google News. United Press International. January 17, 1972. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ Role of the EC delegation to Nepal
  6. ^
  7. ^ Visit to Israel of Honorable Mrs. Sahana Pradhan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  8. ^ Abadi, Jacob. Israel's Quest for Recognition and Acceptance in Asia: Garrison State Diplomacy, 2004. Page 318.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Anbarasan, Ethirajan (2004-09-22). "Analysis: India's Security Council seat bid". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-04-02. 
  11. ^ "Japan writes off Nepalese debt". BBC News. 2004-10-12. Retrieved 2010-04-02. 
  12. ^ "Official Website of Embassy of Malaysia, Kathmandu".  
  13. ^ "Embassy of Nepal". Embassy of Nepal, Kuala Lumpur. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Nepal-Malaysia Relationship". Embassy of Nepal, Kuala Lumpur. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Bilateral Relations (Nepal-Malaysia)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nepal. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Norwegian Embassy in Nepal
  18. ^ Nepal’s Prime Minister visits Norway April 10, 2009
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Politics/Nation". The Times Of India. 2008-05-17. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Nepal - Pakistan relations

External links

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal
  • Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Nepal to the United Nations
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