The National Museum of Nepal in Kathmandu, situated in an old arsenal which may have been built at the beginning of 19th century with help of French engineers, contains a few pieces which show that the two countries maintained relations over the past few centuries.
Mr. Jean Français, ambassador of France to Nepal, accredited on 24 April 1967, traces the beginning of relations at a conference.
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- Text of Mr. Français conference in English
According to historic Nepalese sources, King Prithvi Narayan Shah (1769-1775) first imported European muskets through Calcutta, then built weapons factories with help of French soldiers. They were probably associated in the development of Nepalese artillery until 1790s.
The bicorn and the uniform bearing Nepal’s insignia (notably, the sun and the moon) may have been made to order in France.
The Prime Minister Jang Bahadur Rana (1846-1877) visited France from 15 August to 10 October 1850. This sword was offered to him by Napoleon III.
1912 : Travel in Nepal of French orientalist Alexandra David-Neel.
20 April 1949 : Establishment of diplomatic relations between France and Nepal.
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- Ceremony of the presentation of credentials of the first ambassador of France accredited in Nepal (24 April 1949).
3 June 1950 : First climb of Annapurna by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal.
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- North face of Annapurna, climbed by Herzog and Lachenal.
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15 May 1955 : First climb of Makalu by Jean Couzy and Lionel Terray.
1958 and 1960 : King Mahendra’s private visits in France .
27 April 1962 : Robert Paragot, Paul Keller, Gyalzen Mitchung and René Desmaison realize first climb of Jannu ( 7770m). Lionel Terray, Jean Bouvier, André Bertrand, Yves Pollet-Villars et Pierre Leroux summit the following day.
October 1966 : General De Gaulle officially welcomes King Mahendra to France.
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- Party at the Opéra de Paris. General de Gaulle and King Mahendra.
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- King Mahendra and General de Gaulle leaving the Palais de l’Elysée. Prime Minister Georges Pompidou can be recognized in the background.
June 1967 : Opening of resident embassies of France in Nepal and of Nepal in France.
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- Ceremony of the presentation of credentials of the first Nepalese Ambassador to France, Sardul Shamsher JB Rana, in the presence of General De Gaulle and of Foreign Affairs Minister Maurice Couve de Murville (16 September 1967)
15 October 1978 : Pierre Mazeaud, Nicolas Jaeger and Jean Afanassief are the first French on the Everest’s summit.
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- Pierre Mazeaud on the summit of Everest.
1981 : King Birendra takes part in a United Nations conference on Less Developed Countries.
2 and 3 May 1983 : Visit of François Mitterrand in Nepal.
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- President François Mitterrand visits old Kathmandu.
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- Dinner party at the royal palace.
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- Reception in Kathmandu’s town hall.
October 1989 : Private visit of King Birendra in France.
20-23 September 1994 : Official visit of King Birendra in France.
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- H.M. King Birendra (1945-2001, r. 1972-2001) and President F. Mitterrand, taken during the official visit of Nepalese sovereign in France in September 1994.
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- H.M. King Birendra and Prime Minister E. Balladur during the Nepalese King’s official visit to France in 1994.
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- Mr. Chirac, mayor of Paris, during the official visit of Nepalese sovereign in France in 1994.
6-9 March 2001 : Visit to France of Prime Minister G.P. Koirala.
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- Mr. G. P. Koirala and Mr. Lionel Jospin, Prime Minister.