KATHMANDU, April 23: A team led by Acting Ambassador of Qatar to Nepal, Ibrahim Mohammad Al-Mahmoudi, is arriving in Kathmandu on Wednesday to set up residential embassy of Qatar in Nepal.
Sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the team will arrange office building and start embassy operations ´soon´. "We have received a letter that a team led by Qatari charge d´affaires is arriving on Wednesday to set up residential embassy," confirmed a source.
Nepal had long been requesting Qatar to establish a residential embassy in view of the hardships and hassles faced by Nepali workers opting to go to the Gulf nation for employment. It is estimated that there are currently over 350,000 Nepali migrant workers in Qatar.
The absence of Qatari embassy in Kathmandu has left Nepali workers to acquire visa from Qatari embassy in New Delhi or ´paper visa´ acquired by manpower companies concerned. "The establishment of residential embassy will not only make it easy for Nepali workers to acquire visa but also help facilitate communications between the two countries and immediately address problems faced by Nepali workers in Qatar," said an official at the MoFA.
During a visit to Qatar by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav last year, Qatar government had agreed to establish its embassy in Kathmandu. Nepal has already approved the agrement of Ahmed Jassim Al-Hamar, who was named as the envoy of Qatar to Nepal.
Nepal established its residential embassy in Qatar 11 years ago keeping in view the increasing number of Nepali migrant workers there. President Dr Yadav is the first Nepali head of state to pay a state visit to the Gulf kingdom since diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in January 1977.
Sources said Qatari envoy Al-Hamar will arrive in Kathmandu after the team led by Acting Ambassador Al-Mahmoudi starts embassy operations in Kathmandu.
Meanwhile, it has been learnt that a seven-member delegation led by Dr Ahmed H Alhamud, Director General of Planning and Development Division at Saudi Foreign Ministry, had visited Kathmandu from April 7 to 14 to make a detailed study to set up a Saudi embassy in Kathmandu.
MoFA sources said the delegation studied about possible location and a building for setting up embassy. Sources said Saudi Arabia is expected to set up its embassy in Kathmandu within next month, 34 years after Nepal established its embassy in the Gulf nation.
Some 600,000 Nepalis are currently working in Saudi Arabia. The absence of Saudi embassy in Kathmandu has forced Nepalis opting for work in Saudi Arabia to acquire visa from Saudi embassy based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.