Nepal President seeks help of Qatar's Emir to secure safe release of Nepali student held hostage by Hamas in Gaza | World News - Hindustan Times

Nepal President seeks help of Qatar's Emir to secure safe release of Nepali student held hostage by Hamas in Gaza

Apr 24, 2024 06:13 PM IST

Nepal President seeks help of Qatar's Emir to secure safe release of Nepali student held hostage by Hamas in Gaza

Kathmandu, Nepal President Ram Chandra Poudel has sought the help of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to secure the safe release of a Nepali student held hostage since October by the Hamas in the Gaza Strip, an official said on Wednesday.

Nepal President seeks help of Qatar's Emir to secure safe release of Nepali student held hostage by Hamas in Gaza
Nepal President seeks help of Qatar's Emir to secure safe release of Nepali student held hostage by Hamas in Gaza

The emir on Tuesday called on President Paudel at the Shital Niwas where the two leaders discussed matters related to bilateral interests and diplomatic relations, according to a statement issued by the President's Office.

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On the occasion, President Paudel requested the emir to help secure the release of Bipin Joshi, who was taken hostage by Hamas during an attack against Israel in October last year, said Kiran Pokharel, press advisor to the president.

"Sheikh Tamim assured the president that he would take necessary initiative for the release of the Nepali student,” Pokharel told PTI. The emir of Qatar said that he had earlier also taken the initiative for the same.

Joshi was among 17 Nepali students pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture at Sudur Paschim University who had gone to Israel under an 11-month learn and earn programme. During the Hamas attack on southern Israel in October, 10 Nepalese students were killed, and six injured while Joshi was abducted and taken to Gaza.

The two sides also discussed the issue of migrant workers' conditions in the Gulf state, an official said.

On Sunday, New York-based Human Rights Watch called on Qatar, Nepal and Bangladesh to prioritise labour protection for migrant workers during the emir's visit. Qatar hosts about 400,000 Nepali workers, mostly in construction and manual labour.

Concerns about working in extreme heat in Qatar - that could reach over 40 degrees Celsius - inadequate living facilities and abuse have risen in recent years.

"Both leaders expressed happiness over the cordial relations subsisting between the two countries and agreed to further enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries and peoples,” according to a press release issued by the Foreign Ministry.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet and other officials were also present at the delegation-level meeting.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Tamim met Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and discussed the regional and international issues of common interest as well as ways to enhance bilateral cooperation as the two sides inked eight agreements.

Sheikh Tamim, who arrived here on a two-day visit to Nepal on Tuesday, met Prachanda at the Soaltee Hotel where the two leaders discussed the whole gamut of bilateral relationships to expand and deepen their cooperation for mutual benefit, according to the prime minister's office.

Prime Minister Prachanda welcomed the emir and the accompanying delegation, highlighting that the emir is the first Arab leader to visit Nepal, which reflects the depth of relations between the two countries.

On his part, the emir expressed his thanks to Nepal, its leaders and its people for the warm reception and hospitality.

He said he discussed with President Poudel and Prime Minister Prachanda about developing bilateral economic relations and strengthening them with various partnerships that raise bilateral cooperation to the desired level.

He also praised the Nepali community residing in Qatar, and its contribution to various development fields in the Gulf country.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed aspects of cooperation between the two friendly countries, ways to enhance and develop them and exchanged views on the most prominent regional and international issues of common interest.

Following the talks, both leaders witnessed the signing ceremony of bilateral agreements and Memorandums of Understanding. Six agreements are at the government level while the other two are related to the private sector.

"The signing of these documents has paved the way for further enhancing cooperation and collaboration between the two countries on important areas,” according to the Foreign Ministry.

The deals include an MoU for cooperation in the field of education, higher education and scientific research, an MoU for cooperation between the Public Prosecution in Qatar and the Office of the Attorney General in Nepal, and an MoU for cooperation in the field of youth and sports.

Later, Prime Minister Prachanda hosted a luncheon in honour of Sheikh Tamim which was attended by his delegation members and dignitaries from Nepal.

The emir left Nepal in the evening after successfully concluding the two-day visit.

Nepal government conferred the highest honour to the Qatar Emir during his less than 24-hour stay in Kathmandu amidst tight security.

The Nepali government declared a public holiday on Tuesday in honour of the emir's visit, the first high-level trip to Nepal from the Gulf nation.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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