NEW DELHI Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Thursday expressed his country’s desire to build on the momentum of bilateral relations with India and improve the level of bilateral engagement, a person familiar with the development said.
This follows a line on a map presented by Nepal that showed three regions that are part of India as located within the borders of Nepal. Nepal’s parliamentary approval of the card despite protests from India had soured ties between the two countries.
Oli shared his feelings with visiting Indian Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who arrived on Thursday for a two-day trip. Besides Oli, Shringla also called on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali to meet with his counterpart, the person said.
Shringla for his part expressed India’s interest in deepening economic ties, promoting connectivity, expanding development partnership and strengthening people-to-people contacts, especially among young people, said the Minister. no one.
The Foreign Minister’s discussions with Oli included “a sincere examination of the state of bilateral relations and the potential for India and Nepal to come closer,” the person said.
Oli expressed “Nepal’s desire to build on the momentum of the bilateral relationship and improve the level of bilateral engagement,” the person said.
Oli and Shringla discussed “specific steps that could be taken to finalize key projects at the earliest, including the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, as well as to launch new economic initiatives,” the person said. Discussions also took place on specific meetings that could be scheduled to maintain high level engagement and address issues of mutual interest. The need to resume people-to-people contacts, including the start of an air bubble between India and Nepal was also discussed.
Oli thanked Shringla for India’s assistance during the covid-19 pandemic. There was a discussion about vaccine development and Shringla assured Oli that Nepal’s needs would be given priority.
“The special relationship between India and Nepal, and the importance of respecting each other’s sensibilities have been noted,” said the person quoted above – a possible reference to India’s concerns on the map as well as to Nepal’s contacts with China, considered as a strategic rival by India: India and China are currently engaged in a military impasse along their border in Ladakh.
Both Oli and Shringla were of the view that the two countries should focus on the positive aspects of the wider relationship, the person quoted above said. During the meeting, Shringla briefed Oli on the many India funded projects benefiting all sections of Nepalese society. Shringla also urged Nepal to take advantage of India’s market and economic growth.
During his meeting with Foreign Minister Gyawali, Shringla conveyed an invitation from Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar to visit India for the next round of the Joint Commission meeting.
Shringla has also handed over more than 2,000 vials of Remdesivir injections as part of India’s continued support to Nepal in its efforts to tackle covid-19.
During his meeting with his Nepalese counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal, the two foreign secretaries shared their views on border issues and discussed ways to move things forward.
Another engagement by Shringla in Kathmandu included talks with a delegation from the Nepalese Congress and another delegation of Madhesh leaders, the person said.
On Friday, the second and final day of his visit to Nepal, Shringla will deliver a speech at the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and later inaugurate three schools rebuilt with India’s help. He will also remotely launch an India-funded project to renovate Tashop (Tare) Gompa Monastery in Manang District.