The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has traditionally maintained a non-aligned policy and enjoys friendly relations with neighboring countries. As a small, landlocked country wedged between two larger and far stronger powers, Nepal maintains good relations with both the People’s Republic of China and India.
Constitutionally, foreign policy is to be guided by “the principles of the United Nations Charter, nonalignment, Panchsheel (five principles of peaceful coexistence), international law and the value of world peace.” In practice, foreign policy has not been directed toward projecting influence internationally but toward preserving autonomy and addressing domestic economic and security issues.
Nepal’s most substantive international relations are perhaps with international economic institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, a multilateral economic development association. Nepal also has strong bilateral relations with major providers of economic and military aid, such as France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Switzerland, the United States, and particularly the United Kingdom, with whom military ties date to the nineteenth century. The country’s external relations are primarily managed by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.