U.S. ambassador's social media interaction attempt opposed in Nepal

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-23 17:32:25|Editor: Xiang Bo
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KATHMANDU, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The Nepali government has objected to U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry's planned interaction program with Nepali people on social media, calling it "against the existing international diplomatic practices."

"Foreign ambassadors are not supposed to hold interaction programs with Nepali people on social media which are totally against the existing international diplomatic practices," Nepali Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali told Xinhua on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the U.S. ambassador for his planned interaction program on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The Nepali side told Berry that such a program violates the basic diplomatic norms and codes of conduct, a senior government official told Xinhua on Thursday.

The Nepali government's response comes a few days after Berry made the announcement to hold a weekly interaction with Nepali people on social media from next week.

On Thursday, Nepal's Kathmandu Post reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially asked Berry to "step back" from the program.

It is the first time that a foreign ambassador has been going to hold such interactions over social media, officials said here.

Foreign affairs expert Gopal Thapa told the media that Berry's planned public interaction on social media is against the diplomatic norms prescribed by the Vienna Convention.

Former Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rambhakta Thakur said that Berry should be advised not to hold public interaction on social media, calling it undesirable and undiplomatic.

In addition to the Nepali government, leaders from the ruling and opposition parties in the country also criticized the U.S. ambassador's attempt.