Government decision to withdraw from SPP notified to US
Kathmandu: Today, Bal Krishna Khand, the minister of home affairs, informed the National Assembly that the government has notified the United States of America in writing about its intention to withdraw the US State Partnership Program (SPP).
On June 20, the Cabinet made the decision to withdraw from SPP.
On behalf of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who also holds the defense portfolio, Khand responded to questions from parliamentarians by stating that the government had taken the legislators’ worries about SPP seriously.
Khand stated that the government was firmly committed to prohibiting the use of Nepal’s soil against any friendly neighbors and to the Panchasheel and non-alignment policies.
The government is working in conformity with the constitution and the expectations of the people on the matter of national security and defense, he continued.
With both parties blaming the other for signing up for the program, Nepal’s involvement in SPP created a blame game between the ruling alliance and the main opposition party, the CPN-UML. Gen. Rajendra Chhetri, the then-army chief, informed US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B Teplitz in a letter dated October 27, 2015, that Nepal wanted to join the SPP. At the time, UML Chair KP Sharma Oli was in office as prime minister. Oli later claimed he was unaware of the letter.
In 2015 and 2017, the Nepali Army addressed to the US Embassy in Nepal requesting to be included in the SPP. The request from the Nepali Army was approved in 2019, according to the US Embassy in Kathmandu.