Nepal Army categorically denies any agreement regarding State Partnership Program

Issuing a press statement, the Nepal Army said that no process has been initiated in entering into any military agreement with the US Army.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Following widespread criticism against the government about the possible Strategic Partnership Program (SPP) with the United States, the Nepal Army on Wednesday evening clarified that it has not entered into any such agreement with the United States Army or the government.

Issuing a press statement, the Nepal Army said that there has been no understanding in entering into any military agreement with the US Army. 

[Related: America responds: US Embassy in Nepal debunks myths and misinformation surrounding State Partnership Program]

Nepal Army’s attention has been drawn to the recent news reports in various media outlets regarding Strategic Partnership Program, the statement reads.

“The Nepal Army is clear on the objective that there should be no military partnership that affects Nepal’s non-aligned foreign policy, special geopolitical position and strategic sensitivities. There should  be no such partnerships with anyone that affects Nepal’s strategic sensitivities,” according to the Nepal Army.

[Related: Govt has not received any proposal on State Partnership Program: Law Minister Bandi]

Earlier, Minister for Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Govinda Bandi also claimed the government has not received any proposal regarding the US State Partnership Program (SPP).

“Neither the government received a proposal on SPP nor it is willing to take it ahead,” said Minister Bandi speaking at a meeting of the Parliament. “It’s an attempt to defame the government.”

[Related: US embassy says the ‘leaked’ document regarding State Partnership Program is fake]

There have been general debates and criticisms against both the US and Nepal governments after a document of the agreement said to be proposed by the US Department of Defense on the State Partnership Program between the National Guard and the Nepal Army became public on Monday. 

Various Nepali media outlets have published the document—both in Nepali and English. However, the US Embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday refuted the media reports on the Nepal-United States military deal. 

“The document published in some online outlets that purport to be a military deal between the United States and Nepal is fake,” the embassy tweeted. According to the Embassy, by policy, the United States does not ask countries to join the State Partnership Program and only responds to requests for consideration.