Minister Mahat urges Australian counterpart to set up visa section in Nepal

prakas srn mahatCanberra / Nov 24: Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is currently in an official visit to Australia, placed a request to Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop to establish a ‘visa centre’ in the Australian Embassy in Kathmandu.

During the meeting between the two ministers held in the Australian capital of Canberra on Thursday, Minister Mahat drew the attention of his Australian counterpart towards the problems facing the Nepalis in obtaining visa for Australia as it is issued from the Australian Embassy in New Delhi, India.

On the occasion, the two ministers held the talks on various matters of mutual interests and bilateral cooperation, according to Minister Mahat’s public relations and press coordinator Yekraj Pathak.

Minister Mahat, who reached Australia on Wednesday, held a meeting with Minister Bishop at her office in the Australian Parliament House.

Minister Mahat, at the ministerial level meeting taking place between Nepal and Australia after so long time, extended his thankfulness to the government of Australia for the development assistance to Nepal.

Furthermore, he also expressed his gratitude to the government of Australia and people there for their support during the rescue and relief operation following the Gorkha Earthquake in April last year.

In response regarding the visa matter, Minister Bishop pledged that she will look into the matter and hold consultations with the concerned Department to arrive at appropriate decision.

Expressing her interest in the post-quake reconstruction efforts in Nepal, Minister Bishop reaffirmed her commitment to mull increasing assistance to Nepal in various sectors.

Referencing Australian government’s economic and technical support to Nepal, the Australian Minister acknowledged that it was a positive development at people-to-people level that the number of Nepali students studying in Australia was increasing lately and Australian students, although in a small number were going to Nepal for research and further studies.

Minister Mahat also urged the Australian government to continue with its assistance to Nepal. The Australian government has been extending its support to Nepal in the sector of hydro electricity, livelihood, community forest, education and technology.

On the occasion, Minister Mahat extended invitation to his Australian counterpart for an official visit to Nepal.

Minister Mahat and Australian Minister for International Development meet

Meanwhile, a meeting between visiting Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat and Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Feirravanti-Wells, took place here today.

At a meeting held the Australian Minister’s office in the Parliament House in Australian capital of Canberra, Minister Mahat urged the Australian government to increase its development assistance to Nepal and investment in Nepal’s energy, infrastructure and other potential areas.

Views on various matters of mutual interests as well as issues of Bhutanese refugees and post-quake reconstruction efforts in Nepal were also exchanged during the meeting, according to Yekraj Pathak, Minister Mahat’s Public Relations and Press Coordinator.

On the occasion, Minister Mahat, expressing his willingness to continue the collaboration with Australia in the days to come, also requested the Australian Minister to make arrangements in issuing visa to the Nepali students and the visitors willing to visit Australia from the Australian Embassy in Kathmandu.

Minister Mahat also held meetings with opposition leader and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong, Shadow Minister of Climate Change and Energy Mark Butler and Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Shane Neumann among others.

Moreover, Minister Mahat met with Australian Shadow Minister for National Security Mark Dreyfus today itself.

Present at the meeting with Minister Mahat was Rajendra Pandey, the chargé d’affaires in the Embassy of Nepal in Canberra. RSS

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