Chairman of Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Nepal Upendra Yadav has been appointed as the deputy prime minister and foreign minister on Wednesday. This is his second innings in the post after the fall of Maoist-led government in May, 2009. Republica caught up with Yadav briefly after he assumed office at Narayanhiti on Wednesday. Excerpts:
Republica: How will you drive the country´s foreign policy?
Yadav: Foreign policy will be directed at strengthening Nepal´s relations with her neighbors and making it effective and useful besides garnering international cooperation to drive forward the ongoing peace process in Nepal. Another important component of Nepal´s foreign policy is economic diplomacy. We need to move forward by giving due priority to economic diplomacy as well.
Republica: There are apprehensions that the current left-dominated government will make major changes in the country´s foreign policy, especially with regard to its policy with China and India.
Yadav: It is not important which parties comprise the current alliance. What is important for international community is the work the government chooses to do and the kind of plans and policies it adopts. There is no need to harbor any doubts and suspicions.
Republica: As a newly-appointed deputy prime minister in the current government how will you help drive the peace process and constitution drafting process forward?
Yadav: Peace process and constitution drafting will be driven forward with cooperation from all parties concerned. This is something which can be done only on the basis of consensus.