Al-Harthy named ambassador to Nepal
GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN ARAB NEWS STAFF, RIYADH: The Kingdom has named Abdul Nasser bin Hussain Al-Harthy as its first ambassador to Nepal in more than three decades after an increasing flow of migrant Nepalese workers to Saudi Arabia that has been reported in recent months.
“Saudi ambassador-designate Al-Harthy will be leaving for Nepal following his audience with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in a few weeks,” said Alauddin Alaskari, deputy foreign minister for protocol affairs, here yesterday.
“The Saudi government’s decision to appoint its first ambassador to the South Asian nation will boost bilateral ties in all sectors including manpower,” said Alaskari.
The number of job seekers from Nepal traveling to overseas destinations including the Kingdom has increased by 14.71 percent in the first seven months of the current year compared to the same period last year.
“The opening of the Saudi Embassy in Katmandu a few weeks back and now the appointment of the first Saudi ambassador will further boost bilateral relations,” said Nepalese Ambassdor Udaya Raj Pandey. He said the total number of Nepalese workers in the Kingdom exceeds 600,000, including about 60,000 maids. “I was told that the new Saudi mission will begin issuing visas to Nepalese citizens from April this year,” added Pandey.
He said that the establishment of the Saudi Embassy in Katmandu would certainly ease visa procedures for Nepalese. Nepal opened its residential mission in the Kingdom way back in 1978. The two countries, he said, established their diplomatic relations on March 15, 1977. “Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Nepal and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed good relations,” he noted.
“With the establishment of a residential Saudi Embassy in Katmandu now, Nepal-Saudi relations are expected to reach new heights,” said the Nepalese envoy, adding that a total of seven Saudi personnel, including diplomats, have already arrived in Nepal.