Foreign relations of Nepal

Though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is the government agency responsible for the conduct of foreign relations of Nepal, historically, it is the Office of Prime Minister (PMO) that has exercised the authority to formulate and conduct policies related to Nepal's foreign affairs. As a landlocked country wedged between two larger and far stronger powers, Nepal has tried to maintain good relations with both of its neighbors, People's Republic of China and Republic of India.[1] However, its relationship with India, remains utmost priority due to open border and similarity in culture, tradition, geography, living practices. The relationship between the two countries was significantly hampered during the 2015 Nepal blockade. Where the Nepal Government accused India of the blockade, India strictly denied the allegation and said the blockade were imposed by Madheshi protesters.[2] For the most part though, Nepal has traditionally maintained a non-aligned policy and enjoys friendly relations with its neighboring countries and almost all the major countries of the world.

Constitutionally, foreign policy is to be guided by “the principles of the United Nations Charter, nonalignment, Panchsheel (five principles of peaceful coexistence), international law and the value of world peace.” In practice, foreign policy has not been directed toward projecting influence internationally but toward preserving autonomy and addressing domestic economic and security issues.

Nepal's most substantive international relations are perhaps with international economic institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, a multilateral economic development association. Nepal also has strong bilateral relations with major providers of economic and military aid, such as France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Switzerland, the United States, and particularly the United Kingdom, with whom military ties date to the nineteenth century. The country's external relations, barring relations with India and China, are primarily managed by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs while relationship with India and China, Nepal's most important partners, is still managed by the Prime Minister's Office. Nepal's relation with China has seen a major upswing in the recent years with China now becoming Nepal's top 5 aid donor to Nepal.[3][4][5] In 2021, India increased the aid to Nepal by nearly 13% to Rs15.87 billion and has remained Nepal's largest bilateral aid donor over years. [6]The grant pledged by the Indian government for Nepal is the second highest among South Asian countries.[7] Presently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is Vacant.[8]