PM Oli raises British Gurkha issues with Theresa May

13 June 2019

Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has raised the issue of British Gurkha recruitment with his British Counterpart Theresa May during a meeting between the two on Tuesday, and said that tripartite agreement inked for the employment of Nepali youth in the British Army should be revised to address the demand of the changed time and context.

This is for the first time that the British Gurkha issue was raised at the prime ministers level.

“PM Oli has said that the agreement signed among Nepal, the United Kingdom and India in 1947 for the recruitment of Nepali youth in British Army is outdated in some aspects. He said that Nepal was for the timely revision in the agreement to incorporate the demands of the stakeholders in the changed context,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said in an interview with Badri Gautam of the Nepal Television and Naresh Phuyal of Radio Nepal in London on Wednesday. According to Gyawali, British PM May has taken the proposal positively.

“There are concerns of the ex-British Army. Some of them have been addressed by the UK but some are yet to be fulfilled, therefore, we want the UK government to be more serious regarding their concerns,” he said. “–We also want the UK to take the ex-British Army concerns as their sacrifice not in terms of money.”
The two PMs deliberated on the various aspects of the 203 years old bilateral relations between the two nations and expressed satisfaction on the relationship that is based on trust and cooperation.
Prime Minister May stressed concluding the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries at the earliest.
“With the signing of these two agreements, investment climate in Nepal will become even better. The two countries should work in collaboration,” Gyawali quoted May.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Oli met with UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Region Mark Field, General Secretary of UK’s International Maritime Organisation and officials of World Energy Council and Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh and Department of Botany.
Prime Minister Oli also held a meeting with the Opposition Leader of the British Parliament Jeremy Corbyn and discussed the issues of climate change, development, democratic transformation and post-quake reconstruction in Nepal and other bilateral issues. He addressed the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) at the Cavalry Club.

He visited to the headquarters of the Brigade of Gurkhas.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the BBC World, PM Oli said that Nepal had the capacity to manage the loans based on the country’s needs and priorities.

According to RSS, on a query regarding Nepal’s participation in Belt and Road Initiative, he responded, “We invite investors for investment. We receive loan keeping in mind our country needs and priorities. We do not accept loan in a rampant manner. We also do not like to talk about other’s experience rather we could manage it based on our own experience and we do have estimates for this as well”.

After concluding his visit to the UK, PM Oli left for France with his delegation. He is visiting France at the invitation of his French counterpart Edouard Philippe.

PM Oli is in an eight-day entourage (June 8-15) of Europe. His spouse Radhika Shakya, FM Gyawali, Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista, PM’s Chief Political Advisor Bishnu Rimal, Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr. Rajan Bhattarai, Press Advisor Dr. Kundan Aryal and parliamentarians Bimal Prasad Shreewastav and Binda Pandey are accompanying the Prime Minister.