Foreign Ministry to appoint envoys to India, China, UAE Karki, Maskey, Jha likely candidates

KATHMANDU, NOV 07 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Sunday decided to fill three ambassadorial positions based in UAE, New Delhi and Beijing.

The UCPN (Maoist) appointed its own members to the two most important ambassadorial positions while Senior Joint Secretary at MoFA, Dhananjay Jha, has been recommended as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

In international relations, ties with immediate neighbours are always important, said Ram Kari, who has been proposed to head the Nepali mission to India. “Moreover, we need best wishes and assistance from India and China at this juncture of the peace process. This could be a reason the party wanted to appoint its own members in the two neighbours,” he added.

The Delhi berth could go to Ram Karki, a close aide to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and expert in international relations.

Mahesh Maskey, a medical doctor and leftist intellectual, has been recommended for Nepal’s ambassador to Beijing. This has been included in the agenda for a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, before PM Bhattarai leaves for Maldives to attend the Saarc summit. The decision may be postponed until the PM returns should Cabinet ministers feel the matter needed more discussion.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha confirmed that his ministry had begun the appointment process. “Beginning with ambassadors to India and China, we will gradually fill all vacant positions,” he said.

The Nepali mission in Delhi has been without its head since the second week of August. He was recalled following controversy surrounding information that he was also working as the managing director of Dabur Nepla Pvt Ltd.

The incumbent envoy to China, Tanka Karki, completes his four years in early 2012. Nepal’s envoy to UAE Arjun Bahadur Thapa’s tenure expires in December end.

Following a Cabinet nod, proposed names are forwarded for a parliamentary hearing. After the House committee concerned approves the nomination, the government sends an agreeme to the respective countries for approval.

In 2009, Karki was recommended as the ambassador to France during the tenure of Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led Maoist government. France offered an agreeme to Karki but his appointment was nixed by the following Madhav Kumar Nepal led government. By Anil Giri from ekantipur

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