By Usha Wagle Gautam/Correspondent
Nepal's embassy celebrated the country's National Day (Constitution Day) with a reception in Doha on Monday.
A number of Qatari dignitaries, heads of different foreign missions and members of the diplomatic community in Doha, officials from various organisations in Qatar, Nepali community members and staff from the embassy and their family members attended the event.
Among those present were HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Yousuf bin Mohamed al-Othman Fakhroo, HE the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi, Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhroo - Director of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ali Ibrahim Ahmed, dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Qatar.
The guests were welcomed with the traditional musical instrument, Nepali Panche Baja, and the reception got under way with the Qatari and Nepali national anthems, followed by a cake-cutting ceremony.
The event was inaugurated by Lakshuman Khanal, charge d'affaires at the embassy of Nepal in Doha, along with the chief guest and guests of honour.
Khanal extended gratitude to the State of Qatar, the dignitaries present and members of the Nepali community for attending the event.
Nepal's Constitution Day is celebrated on September 20. Khanal talked about the historic moment in 2015 when the country promulgated its new, existing statute. He said the event marked the culmination of people's struggles for decades for a more inclusive polity.
Khanal also spoke about the past year’s achievements to bolster and deepen diplomatic relations between Qatar and Nepal. The past year saw several of high-level engagements, including the Qatar visit of Bidhya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal, in October-November 2018.
During the visit, the President held an official meeting with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. The two leaders witnessed the signing of bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding. The President also held meetings with other dignitaries and entrepreneurs and addressed an event exploring business and investment opportunities in Nepal.
Similarly, he recalled the visits of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nepal, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, and the Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population of Nepal, Upendra Yadav, and their meetings with senior Qatari officials.
Khanal thanked Qatar for hosting more than 350,000 Nepali workers. The presence of Nepali workers in huge numbers, he added, contributed to the pluralist and inclusive society of the country.
Khanal also talked about the opening of the Qatar Visa Centre in Kathmandu in May this year as well as the opening of an office of Doha Bank in Kathmandu as milestones of the bilateral relationship.
In his speech, Khanal said Nepal has passed the political transition phase and is looking forward to speedy economy growth. He reiterated the Nepal government’s aim to graduate from LDC status to a middle income country by 2030.
Khanal reminded all in the audience that Nepal is a country with abundant opportunities for investors in sectors such as hydropower, infrastructure, tourism and agriculture.
He also touched upon Visit Nepal 2020, an initiative launched by the government to bring in more than 2mn tourists in the coming year.
A brief cultural programme followed the formal event.
The programme was hosted by Richa Bhattarai, second secretary at the Nepal embassy.
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