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Nepal to receive four Chinese passenger aircrafts

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Kathmandu: The Nepal government is to receive four Chinese passenger aircraft in accordance with the bilateral agreement between Beijing and Kathmandu, an official said on Wednesday.

Under the bilateral deal signed between state-owned Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and AVIC International, the state-owned Chinese plane manufacturing company, Kathmandu is to purchase six aircraft from the company, Xinhua quoted Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Ananda Prasad Pokharel as saying.

Nepal has already purchased two aircraft MA60 and Y-12e. The remaining four passenger planes are to be received by the Nepal government soon.

The government has already made payment for manufacturing the planes through the China Exim Bank, the minister said.

Pokharel reaffirmed the commitments of the Nepalese government to purchase the Chinese planes under the agreement between the NAC and AVIC International signed on November 29, 2012.

Pokharel said China’s assistance for the construction of Pokhara Regional International Airport is one of the important aspect of bilateral cooperation in aviation sector.

Chinese Ambassador Wu Chuntai said the Chinese leadership has taken the “good neighbourhood policy” focusing on sharing technology, experiences and making investment in neighbourhood.

Wu said cooperation between the AVIC International and NAC was a good example of the Chinese policy towards Nepal.

Nepal Airlines managing director Sugat Ratna Kansakar said the NAC has limited planes to fly both domestic and international flights so it decided to purchase the Chinese planes for domestic flights.

He added that the NAC also plans to start flights to China’s major cities, including Guangzhou, Shanghai and Kunming, in the near future as it only has a service to Hong Kong.

The AVIC International vice-president Xu Bo said the company was ready to provide all necessary assistance to the Nepal Airlines Corporation for smooth operation of the aircraft. (IANS)

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Nepal, Pakistan agree to revitalise Saarc process

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for "greater peace, security and prosperity in the region"

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  • Nepal and Pakistan agreed to revitalise Saarc
  • This is done to promote greater peace and security
  • It will be apparently beneficial for both the nations

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for “greater peace, security and prosperity in the region” during talks that visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held with the Himalayan nation’s leadership.

Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons
Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons

Abbasi on Tuesday met Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and addressed a programme at the Saarc Secretariat here. He also held a meeting with CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” in the morning.

Bhandari and Abbasi hoped to reinvigorate the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) as an important regional organisation. The Pakistani leader said that “issues of the countries in the region should not affect the activities of Saarc and its performance”.

He emphasised the need to make Saarc “more effective” in the days ahead. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in all areas of mutual importance, including political, economic, defence and cultural fields.

On Monday evening, Abbasi met his Nepali counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli and both decided to revitalise the stalled Saarc process.

Also Read: India pulled out of SAARC meeting that is to be held in Pakistan

The Pakistani leader sought to host the 19th Saarc Summit of the regional grouping and asked Nepal to create a “favourable environment” for the same. The summit has been postponed since 2016 after a military attack on an Indian Army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

After the attack, India unilaterally suspended its participation from the summit. Several member states rallied behind India’s position.

Nepal is the current chair of the regional grouping. Oli’s chief political advisor Bishnu Rimal said “both leaders held a common view on taking the Saarc forum ahead as it was a common platform for all member countries and still significant”.

The step is taken to improve relationships between the two countries.

Addressing a function at the Saarc Secretariat in Kathmandu, Abbasi said peace, security and mutual friendship were essential for the prosperity of South Asia.

“Pakistan has undivided belief in the Saarc objectives, ideologies and principles,” he said, adding that Islamabad was fully committed to the Saarc charter.

Abbasi also announced doubling the scholarships provided to Nepal by the Pakistan government and proposed to set up a joint parliamentary panel between Kathmandu and Islamabad. IANS