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News Analysis: Nepal's failure to appoint envoys in key posts affects country's image abroad


19:51, June 09, 2013

KATHMANDU, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The failure of the Nepal government to appoint ambassadors in some key embassies and foreign missions for a long time has affected the country's image in the international community, experts and diplomats here said over the weekend.

Important diplomatic posts in New Delhi, New York, Cairo, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok have remained vacant for a long time, affecting the operation of country's diplomatic missions in those places.

The government has failed to appoint ambassadors due to squabbling among the political parties on who to appoint. The major political parties are seeking their share in each and every diplomatic appointment.

"The absence of ambassador hampers communication and information between two countries because the ambassador is a bridge between two countries," Former Nepalese Ambassador to Beijing Tanka Karki told Xinhua.

He said that country's failure to appoint ambassadors in important posts has sent a message to the international community that there is political instability in Nepal and that the Kathmandu government is facing internal problems.

"Appointing ambassadors is a normal and regular task of any country, so the government's failure to do so has affected the country's image," Karki said.

Nepal's diplomatic missions in New Delhi and in the United Nations headquarters in New York are without ambassadors since January 2011 and August 2012, respectively.

The ambassadorial position in New Delhi has remained vacant after the government recalled Ambassador to India Rukma Samsher Rana, and the position in New York has remained unfilled after the then Nepali Permanent Representative and Ambassador to United Nations was appointed as Undersecretary General and High Representative for Least Developed Countries.

Besides these important positions, Nepal has also failed to appoint resident ambassadors in Egypt, Malaysia and Thailand for a long time.

Foreign Ministry officials have been pressing the government to fill up the vacant ambassadorial positions since their continued absence has tarnished Nepal's relations with the host country.

Foreign Ministry officials also urged the government to give priority to career ambassadors in appointing chiefs of mission in key cities.

"Every party has its own agenda which is wrong. These parties want to have their own man in a certain post. The most coveted post is New Delhi where each party would like to have a say on who to appoint as envoy there. These parties would like to have cordial relations with India and send a person close to their parties," said a former Nepali ambassador to India but who did not want to be named.

Earlier, Maoist leader Ram Karki was recommended as Nepal's ambassador to India but India rejected him.

Under the Vienna Convention, the host country has the right to reject a nominee for an ambassadorial post.

The main functions of a diplomatic mission, according to 1961 Vienna Convention, are representing the sending states, protecting the interest of the sending state and its nationals.

Other functions of a diplomatic mission are negotiating with the government of receiving state, ascertaining conditions and developments in the receiving state and reporting them to the home government.

After the political change in 2006, successive governments and political parties have not paid much attention to the task of filling vacant diplomatic posts.

Since the priority of the political parties in Nepal now is the holding of the upcoming election for members of the Constituent Assembly, the issue of appointing ambassadors has taken a backseat.

Currently, Nepal has diplomatic relations with 138 countries but has diplomatic missions in only 32 countries.

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