Kathmandu: During his one-day trip to Kathmandu on Thursday, United States’ Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu, made several political meetings.
He met Nepali Congress President Deuba and discussed how Nepal-US relations could be strengthened in the days ahead, according to Deuba’s secretariat.
According to the US embassy spokesperson in Kathmandu, Lu met with Prime Minister Dahal to express condolences on the recent passing of his wife, Sita Dahal. With Foreign Minister Saud and former Prime Ministers Oli and Deuba, he discussed Nepal’s achievements on its Summit for Democracy commitments, the recent bolstering of human rights protections in Nepal, and the progress of the MCC-Compact to date, which will commence implementation in August and within the next five years provide essential electrical infrastructure, improve capacity for road maintenance, and create thousands of jobs.
“High-level diplomatic engagements are a routine part of strengthening both US-Nepal and regional partnerships in furtherance of a more secure, sovereign, prosperous, and democratic world,” the spokesperson said.
Lu had sparked controversy last year with his separate telephone calls to top Nepali leaders including Sher Bahadur Deuba (who was the prime minister), UML chairman KP Oli and Maoist Center chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Lu was said to have warned Oli and Dahal that the US would review its relations with Nepal if Nepal failed to ratify the MCC Compact in a bid to pressure the reluctant Nepali leaders to give parliamentary ratification to the $500 US grant project.
Two weeks after his telephone conversation, Nepal parliament ratified the MCC compact on February 27, 2022.