Kathmandu: The US Embassy in Kathmandu has said that a country can stay out of the State Partnership Program if it wishes so. “A country can simply inform the United States that they no longer wish to participate in the program,” said Charge’ d’Affaires Manual P Micaller, Jr. According to him, out of nearly 90 countries with the State Partnership Program, only Belarus has ended its participation in the program.
Explaining why there have been no SSP-led events, even after the US accepted Nepal’s request, the embassy says the US continued to have open dialogue with Nepali leaders to collaborate on what the cooperative exchanges under SPP might look like, to include possible humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness activities. “No SPP-led events have occurred because Nepal has not wanted them to occur. Any events under SPP would happen only with the approval of Nepal,” said Micaller.
According to him, the request for SSP by Nepal’s side involved civilian, government, and military leaders. “When Nepal asked to participate in the program in 2015, and again in 2017, the request involved civilian, government, and military leaders from Nepal, openly looking to take advantage of a program focused on security cooperation and exchanges, and humanitarian assistance and disaster readiness,” he said.