The Embassy of Nepal hosted a reception at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra yesterday to mark the 60th establishment anniversary of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Australia.
The reception was graced by the Members of Parliament, senior officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, heads of diplomatic missions based in Canberra, members of diplomatic corps, former ambassadors of Australia to Nepal, representatives of the Australian Non-Government Organizations and members of the Nepali Diaspora.
Delivering his welcome remarks on the occasion, Ambassador of Nepal to Australia Mahesh Raj Dahal expressed his deepest condolences and sympathies to the people affected by the recent bushfires in different States of Australia.
Commending the work done by Australian firefighters, volunteers and community members to combat the recent bushfires, Ambassador Dahal also conveyed Nepal Government’s solidarity and support to Australia in such time of distress.
He stated that shared values and interests provide a sound basis for the existing trustful and friendly relations between Nepal and Australia.
“The relation between Nepal and Australia is cemented by regular visits at different levels from both sides,” he said.
Ambassador Dahal also talked about significant contribution made by the Australian development cooperation incommunity forestry, education, micro enterprises development, livelihood support and human resources development in Nepal.
He thanked the people and the Government of Australia for their continuous support in the development endeavours of Nepal. Similarly, he acknowledged the role played by the Nepali Diaspora living in Australia for bridging Nepal and Australia, and helping in strengthening people to people relations between the two countries.
Also speaking on the occasion, Elly Lawson, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who was representing the Foreign Minister, Senator the Hon Maris Payne, talked about the partnership between the two countries and expressed happiness on the growing relations over the years.
Likewise, Allison Hill from the Fred Hollows Foundation, shared about how the friendship started between Fred Hollows and Dr. Sanduk Ruit, and how they worked in Nepal.
She further stated that with the help of the Fred Hollows Foundation, Dr Ruit established a world-class eye care center in Kathmandu, now known as Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, which has shown the world that developing countries can lead way in eye care.
Hill also shared her experience of her recent visit to Nepal and thanked the staff of Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology for donating their one-day salary to the bushfire victims in Australia.
On the occasion, Hon Peter Khalil MP, Co-chair of the Australia Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group announced the reformulation (launching) of the Australia Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group in new Parliament.
The Friendship Group was first formed in the Australian Parliament in 2009 before Senator Mark Furner became the Chair of the Group, and the same was reformulated in the new Parliament in 2018- the Group was co-chaired by Hon Peter Khalil MP and Hon Ann Sudmalis MP.
The Group had 36 members from both House of Representatives and Senate. The newly formed Group will be co-chaired by Hon Peter Khali MP and Senator Andrew Bragg.
Meanwhile, a short video covering 60-year-long friendship between Nepal and Australia as well as a video message by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, were displayed on the occasion.
Minister Gyawali conveyed his best wishes on the auspicious occasion of the 60th anniversary and expressed happiness on the friendly as well as cordial bilateral relations existing between Nepal and Australia.
Diplomatic relation between Nepal and Australia was established on 15 February 1960. Throughout these years, warm and friendly relations have long characterized the bilateral relations while reciprocal visits and strong bonds created through development cooperation indicate the strength of these relations.
“The two countries share similar views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. Both Nepalis and Australians share common values and these values are well manifested in these 60 glorious years of our relations,” read a press release issued by the Nepali Embassy in Australia on the occasion.