Kathmandu, Jan 30 (PTI) A top US diplomat on Monday met Nepal's senior leadership, including Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda", to further consolidate bilateral ties, and pledged USD 1 billion in investments in the Himalayan nation over the next five years.
US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland arrived here in Kathmandu on Sunday on a two-day visit.
A seasoned diplomat, Nuland has held a number of high-level positions under three American presidents - Joe Biden, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
She is the senior-most foreign dignitary to visit Nepal following Prachanda's appointment as the prime minister on December 25 last year.
Nuland met Prachanda at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar here.
During the meeting, matters relating to bilateral interests were discussed, according to sources at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.
“The meeting is expected to contribute to further consolidating the bilateral ties," sources said.
“On the occasion, the Prime Minister lauded the US government for its contributions to the development endeavours in Nepal, expressing hope that such cooperation would be further enhanced ahead,” sources said.
Nuland also congratulated the Nepal Prime Minister on his appointment and wished him a successful term.
“This time we are proud and pleased to talk about all of our projects together for the future, and the US plans to invest over USD 1 billion in Nepal over the next five years in green energy to electrification, and from small to medium-sized enterprises, particularly investing under-represented groups led by women,” Nuland said.
She called on Nepal Foreign Minister Bimala Rai Poudyal and “both sides discussed various matters of mutual interests on bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” according to Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Nuland also met Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-UML chief Sharma Oli separately.
During her meeting with Deuba, the “two touched on various issues including the US assistance to Nepal in the areas of the promotion of bilateral relations, democracy, development and good governance,” Nepali Congress sources said.
“They exchanged views on further strengthening the bilateral cooperation," sources said.
Deuba, a former prime minister said the US assistance and cooperation with Nepal were highly valued.
Nuland visited cultural heritage sites at the historic Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur district, and interacted with the media before wrapping up her visit on Monday.
“We have been long-time friends and supporters of Nepal’s democracy, independence, and sovereignty,” she told reporters.
“We have historic investments here in education, health, agriculture and economic growth,” she added. PTI SBP VM AKJ VM VM