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Border issues with India will be addressed through the existing mechanism: Nepal PM

Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba returned home on Sunday after completing his first visit to India during which he discussed border issues with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, and the two leaders agreed to discuss them through existing mechanisms, dialogue and address diplomacy.

The two prime ministers held in-depth talks on various key aspects of the close neighborly ties between the two countries on Saturday in New Delhi.

Deuba, accompanied by a high-level delegation, arrived in New Delhi on Friday at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi for a three-day visit.

”The bilateral talks and exchange of views have been fruitful for further strengthening the cooperative ties between the two countries,” Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka, who was also part of the entourage, said while speaking to reporters here on Sunday.

Prime Minister Modi said India is always concerned about Nepal’s development and assured Kathmandu of New Delhi’s continued support in its prioritized sectors, Khadka added.

“During the talks, the two prime ministers also discussed border issues and the two leaders agreed to address such issues through existing mechanisms and through dialogue and diplomacy,” he said.

Khadka’s statement gains momentum after Prime Minister Deuba on Saturday publicly urged the Indian prime minister to resolve the border issue through the establishment of a bilateral mechanism.

Hours later, Secretary of State Harsh Vardhan Shringla told a press conference that there was general agreement that the issue needed to be addressed in a responsible manner through dialogue and that its “politicization” avoided.

“The subject was briefly discussed. There was general agreement that both sides must approach this in a responsible manner through discussion and dialogue in the spirit of our close and friendly relationship and that politicization of such issues must be avoided,” Shringla said.

Shringla’s comments on the need to avoid politicizing the borderline gain traction as then-Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli sought to use the issue in 2020 to stave off mounting domestic political pressures and challenges to his leadership.

Bilateral relations between New Delhi and Kathmandu had come under strain under the government of then-Nepal Prime Minister Oli, which released a new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as Nepal’s territories.

After Nepal declassified the map, India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and warning Kathmandu that such “artificial expansion” of territorial claims was unacceptable to the country.

Issues such as cooperation in education, health, energy, trade and cross-border transmission lines, enhancing cross-border connectivity by building railway lines, building an integrated check post and dry port, and promoting bilateral trade were mainly discussed during talks between the two leaders called Khadka treated.

“Prime Minister Deuba also met with Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, during which they discussed a variety of issues to advance mutual interests and further develop bilateral ties,” Khadka said.

Prime Minister Deuba also urged Indian business leaders to invest in Nepal to create economic prosperity, assuring that the Nepalese government is making efforts to implement legal and political reforms to attract foreign investment to the country.

“The visit also provided a platform for interaction and exchange of ideas between Nepalese and Indian businessmen,” the minister said.

“We firmly believe that the high-level talks held by Prime Minister Deuba with Prime Minister Modi and other leaders and senior officials in Delhi have helped to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, cooperation and understanding between the two countries,” said Khadka.

Prime Minister Deuba also extended his invitation for Prime Minister Modi to visit Nepal and in response the Indian leader recalled his previous visits to Nepal and promised to visit him again in due course.

It was Deuba’s first bilateral visit abroad after becoming prime minister for the fifth time in July last year following political unrest in Kathmandu.

Deuba had visited India in each of his four previous terms as Prime Minister of Nepal. His last visit to India in his capacity as Prime Minister was in 2017.

https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/world/story/boundary-issues-with-india-will-be-addressed-through-existing-mechanism-nepal-pm-328448-2022-04-03?utm_source=rssfeed Border issues with India will be addressed through the existing mechanism: Nepal PM

Jaclyn Diaz

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