Dahal’s statement on January 25 that American “imperialism’s intrusion in Venezuela affairs was not acceptable” had reportedly irked the US, and Oli tried to appease Washington by calling Dahal’s statement a “slip of tongue”.
On Wednesday evening, Oli told government-controlled Nepal Television that there was no urgency for Prachanda to make such a statement when “I was abroad, and going to return within hours”. “Such a statement would not have come if I were here,” he added.
The US Ambassador in Kathmandu, Randy Berry, on Friday did not attend a meeting that Nepal Prime Minister K P Oli and Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali had hosted for the head of the mission, and instead sent his deputy.
The joint statement comes in wake of the government’s move to throttle investigations by two designated commissions by not giving them adequate powers and jurisdiction ahead of the expiry of their four-year term on February 1.
Oli said while a “deal” with an individual on hunger strike could be driven by the necessity of the situation, it would not have an “overriding” effect on the right of parliament to make laws without outside interference. “I can make appeals to the Parliament, but I cannot dictate it,” he said.
The decision comes as the Nepal government is making preparations to celebrate 2020 as the ‘Visit Nepal Year’. Estimates indicate that at least 2 million people will visit Nepal in 2020, the bulk of them from India.
Bimalendra Nidhi, vice-chairman of Nepali Congress, the main opposition party, and a former deputy PM of Nepal, who had opposed Adityanath’s presence at the event, retracted his statement issued a week ago.
Oli’s statement signalled a change in his rhetoric for the first time since the beginning of his term in mid-February, indicating that he is either tired of criticism or has become more realistic and even apologetic.