Prince Harry in Nepal on maiden official visit

Britain's Prince Harry on Saturday arrived here on his maiden visit to Nepal and called on Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to discuss bilateral cooperation.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 19, 2016, 20:42 PM IST

Kathmandu: Britain's Prince Harry on Saturday arrived here on his maiden visit to Nepal and called on Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to discuss bilateral cooperation.

Leading a 30-member delegation, Harry landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport on a flight of Qatar Airways from Doha this afternoon, representing the British government to mark the 200th anniversary of Nepal-Britain relations.

The 31-year-old, who is accompanied by British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire, was welcomed by Minister of State for Federal Affairs and Local Development Kunti Kumari Shahi and high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Harry's five-day trip is aimed at supporting British interests in the region, according to a statement by the UK Embassy here.

This is the first time that Prince Harry is visiting Nepal. British Queen Elizabeth had visited Nepal in 1961 and 1986. Prince Charles, late Princess Diana and Prince Philip have also visited Nepal.

Harry will engage in various activities including observation of earthquake recovery work. He will also interact with Gurkha families, enjoy rafting, watch sunrise over the Himalayas, and visit heritage sites and national parks.

Harry called on Oli at his residence in Baluwatar and discussed the Nepal-Britain bilateral cooperation.

During the meeting, discussions were held on Nepal- Britain relation, according to Oli's personal secretariat.

According to Prime Minister's secretariat, Harry lauded the role of Gurkha soldiers in the British Army during the meeting.

He also talked about last April's earthquake in the region, which claimed over 9,000 lives.

"I pay my respects to those who perished and hope to do what I can to shine a spotlight on the resilience of the Nepali people," he said.

Harry, the fifth-in-line to the British throne, also encouraged people to help Nepal.

"I want to show all those around the world who want to help that this country is open for business," Harry said.

Harry said that Nepal "holds a special place in the imagination for so many people".

Having served alongside Gurkhas in Afghanistan, the prince will visit the British Gurkha Camp in Pokhara, where he will commend the bravery and service to the Crown of an "exceptional group of soldiers".

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kamal Thapa hosted a reception in Harry's honour during the prince said he was "deeply honoured and excited to be here".

Harry is scheduled to call on Nepal's first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari at the Presidential Office at Sheetal Niwas tomorrow.