Govt decides to reject SPP deal

NL Today

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Kathmandu: After a backlash against the government, a cabinet meeting on Monday decided to reject the United States’ State Partnership Program.

The meeting of the council of ministers decided to write a letter to the United States, rejecting the SPP deal, a key US security cooperation tool, facilitating cooperation across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encouraging people-to-people ties at the state level.

“The cabinet meeting today decided to reject the SPP agreement,” a minister told Nepal Live Today. 

The Nepal Army had written a letter in 2015 for the agreement. The Nepal Army, in 2015, had written to the United States Embassy in Kathmandu proposing the SPP with the American government.

However, the government, the opposition and the Nepal Army had claimed there had been no initiation to sign the SPP agreement with the United States.   

After widespread criticism against both Nepal and US governments, the US Embassy on Wednesday clarified that the Nepal government, in 2015 and 2017, requested to formally engage in the military partnership. Soon after, Nepal Army issued a press statement stating that there has been no understanding in entering into any military agreement with the US Army.

Just a day after the Nepal Army claimed there had been no initiation on signing the State Partnership Program (SPP), a document signed by the then Army Chief seeking a military partnership with the United States became public.