Ban Visit postponement: Ban’s office says sorry

KATHMANDU, APR 03 – The Office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed dismay at the ‘deferral’ of his visit to Nepal scheduled for April-end.
On behalf of Ban’s office, Under Secretary and former Chief of the Staff Vijay K Nambiar has recently dispatched a letter to the Nepal government through Nepal’s Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the UN, Gyan Chandra Acharya and expressed dismay at the postponement of the visit. However, his office hoped that Ban would make a trip to Nepal ‘soon’.

Earlier, Ban was scheduled to visit Nepal on April 28 along with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova to attend an international meeting on the development of Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

Acharya, who arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday, handed over the letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha on Monday at his office in Singhadurbar.

Acharya is here to attend an international conference on mountain countries to he held on April 5-6 in Kathmandu.

“We are sorry for rescheduling your planned international meeting on Lumbini and hope that it will take place soon,” the letter read.

“The reason behind the postponement of Ban’s visit is not due to differing opinions within and without,” said knowledgeable sources. “It was stalled due to time constraint for Ban himself, lack of progress on Lumbini conference and the logjam in Nepal’s peace process. As soon as the peace process makes some headway, Secretary General Ban’s visit is likely to take place,” added the sources.

The letter also read that a new date for Ban’s Nepal visit would be finalised soon.

Multiple sources said a meeting of Minister Shrestha, Ambassador Acharya and senior government officials that is called for Tuesday is likely to fix new date for Ban’s Nepal visit.

As soon as Acharya returns to New York, Ban’s office and Nepali mission there would start laying the groundwork for the stalled visit, the sources added. ANIL GIRI from ekantipur

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