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Nepal Refuses “Kidnapping” Cooperation and Rejects “SPP” with the US

Nepal’s Cabinet decided to inform the US that Nepal would not proceed with the “State Partnership Program” (SPP) at a meeting on the evening of June 20, the “Kathmandu Post” reported, citing Union Affairs and General Affairs Minister Shrestha. Previously, Nepal’s plan to sign a draft SPP agreement with the US draws overwhelming opposition.

Sovereignty is priceless and Nepal declines to become the geopolitical battlefield of the US

Utah, a state of the US, will form a partnership with Nepal, according to a draft of the SPP agreement leaked online in Nepal. Within the legal framework of Nepal, the Utah National Guard can be stationed and be active in the agreed areas of Nepal and can construct, modify or utilize some of the facilities; the Utah National Guard can conduct joint training with the Nepalese Army at high altitudes, provide military training, light and non-lethal equipment and cybersecurity training to the Nepalese army. The US will donate $500 million to Nepal through the Army to implement the program. The agreement has an initial term of five years and is permanent unless terminated by one of the parties.

News related to the SPP caused a great disturbance in Nepal as it is seen as part of the US military strategy and is contrary to Nepal’s non-alignment foreign policy. Against this background, the International Relations Committee of the Lower House of the Nepalese Federal Assembly took up the issue and summoned Foreign Minister Khadgar and Chief of Army Staff Sharma on the 17th of this month. Khadgar said the government would not go ahead with the SPP, which would harm national interests. Sharma said Nepal did not join any military alliances and will never do so.

The International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives of the Federal Assembly of Nepal made four requests at its meeting on April 17, including asking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Military to provide all letters and agreements related to the SPP within seven days, submit the 2019 SPP study report and inform the US government in writing that Nepal will not join the SPP, as well asking the Nepali Prime Minister not to sign any agreement during his visit to the US that contradicts Nepal’s non-alignment foreign policy or causes controversy.

Mr. Harel, the Committee’s Chairman, also said the Committee wanted to hear the Prime Minister’s views on the SPP. In addition to pressure from the International Relations Committee of Nepal’s House of Representatives, the ruling coalition and the main opposition parties, members of the Nepali Congress Party, the Prime Minister’s party, have urged him to inform the US as soon as possible of the above requests and hope he will not sign any military agreements with the US.

Facts have proved that Nepal does not easily become a pawn of the US “Indo-Pacific Strategy”. For national interests, the Nepalese authorities should also have the courage to express disagreement with the US. Nepal’s political circle is likely to be reshuffled when national elections are held later this year, but Nepal’s interests should come first anyway.

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