Washington: During the recently concluded
visit of Nepal`s Deputy Prime Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari,
the US officials discussed with him current peace process,
progress made towards constitution and how to bring permanent
peace in this nascent democratic country of South Asia.
"I can imagine it (peace process) was part of the
discussion, was how to support the Nepalese Government in
trying to move forward on many fronts, but obviously, in
extending the peace there," State Department spokesman Mark
Toner told reporters.
"During the visit and meetings, US officials were
pleased to hear from the Deputy Prime Minister of the
Government of Nepal`s commitment to completing the final
implementation of the peace process and the drafting of a
democratic constitution," Toner said.
"As the May 28 deadline to finalize the constitution
approaches, now is the time for all parties to join together
to build consensus on the completion of these tasks, which are
crucial steps on Nepal`s path toward a peaceful and prosperous
democratic future," it said.
During his visit, Adhikari signed a Trade and
Investment Framework Agreement with US Trade Representative
Ron Kirk, replacing the existing agreement of 1947.
The new agreement will provide a forum for bilateral
talks to enhance trade and investment, discuss specific trade
issues, and promote more comprehensive trade agreements
between the US and Nepal.
The agreement will enhance America`s trade and
investment relationship with Nepal, said Kirk.
"We now have an institutional framework for discussing
trade and investment issues and learning more about each
other`s legal, regulatory and trading regimes," he said.
"The United States looks forward to deepening its
relationship with Nepal and breaking down any and all barriers
that may prevent our producers, exporters and ranchers from
selling their products in Nepal," Kirk said in a statement.
In 2010, US exports to Nepal were about USD 28
million. The top export categories to Nepal were aircraft,
machinery, and optic and medical instruments. Nepal gained
membership in the World Trade Organization in 2004.