Integrated efforts needed to address issues of oceans, mountains : Minister Saud

Kathmandu, 11 Feb: Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prakash Saud has said that Nepal’s development aspirations rely on the Indian Ocean and this was a medium to understand the state of Hindu Kush Himalayan’s ecosystem and climate change.

Addressing the Seventh Indian Ocean Conference organized at Perth of Australia on Saturday, Minister Saud stated that there is an organic link between the Himalayas and the Ocean and the ocean and mountain issues should be dealt with an integrated and holistic manner.

The Minister added that the Indian Ocean was a major partner for Nepal’s foreign trade and a lifeline to reach the international market.

In his address, he underscored the importance of the Indian Ocean for Nepal in reaching the international market and hence stressed stability and sustainability of the Indian Ocean for landlocked countries like Nepal.

The conference organized by the Government of Australia and India Foundation witnessed the participation of leaders, ministers and representatives from think tanks from different regions and countries.

On the occasion, Minister Saud said that the Indian Ocean should be viewed as a centre of civilization, not merely limiting it in geography. “The Indian Ocean should be viewed from geopolitics, geo-strategic and economic importance,” the Minister added. Saud added that the Indian Ocean has been facing both traditional and non-traditional security threats.

He stated that it was a matter of unfortunate that terrorism, robbery, smuggling of narcotics drugs and weapons, human trafficking, illegal migration and obstacles in navigation freedom have stood as the serious security threats.