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Nepal won’t sign controversial SSP agreement with US

In a bold decision, the Nepal government has decided not to go ahead with a controversial military pact with the US under the frame of the State Partnership Program( SPP).

A press meeting on Monday decided to inform the US government that Nepal won’t be a part of SPP, said Minister for Information and Communication, Gyanendra Bahadur Karki.
The issue of joining the SPP came a politically charged matter in Nepal. Ruling and opposition party leaders have been calling the Sher Bahadur Deuba government not to subscribe any agreement on SPP with the US under any circumstances.

Deuba is listed to visit the US inmid-July, while Nepal’s Chief of Army Staff will be in the US from June 27 to July 1 on a bilateral visit.
The Nepal Army had written to the US Embassy in 2015 and 2017, requesting to join the SPP. The US Embassy in Kathmandu had mentioned that Nepal Army’s request was accepted in 2019. But there was no clarity as to whether Nepal was part ofSPP.

still, as SSP was part of the US service strategy, the government had made a public commitment that Nepal would not share in it.
The SPP agreement came indeed more controversial after General CharlesA. Flynn of the US Army’s Indo- Pacific Command visited Nepal in the alternate week of June.

Prime Minister Deuba was positive about the SPP, but the Chief of Army Staff, Prabhuram Sharma, was undecided. During his visit to Nepal, Flynn said that an agreement should be reached to move the SPP forward during Sharma’s forthcoming visit to the US.

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