Nepal to give priority to enhancing relations with both India, China

Nepal is bordered on three sides by India and shares an open border, while the highest Himalayan peaks are divided between Nepal and China

AP Kathmandu
Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepal

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister, Nepal

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Nepal's new government, led by a communist prime minister, will give priority to enhancing relations with both of its giant neighbours, India and China, but won't use them against each other for its own benefit, the newly appointed foreign minister said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud told The Associated Press in an interview that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is set to make his first official trip abroad to India since taking power earlier this year.

Nepal is bordered on three sides by India and shares an open border, while the highest Himalayan peaks are divided between Nepal and China.

Saud, however, said the government will continue to maintain good relationships with both countries and would not do anything to hamper ties with either of the neighbors.

"We will never use the two nations against each other for our own benefit. We will not interfere with the internal matters of their countries, and we would also want that no other country should interfere with our internal issues, Saud said.

Until recently, India was a dominant force in Nepal but China's involvement has begun to grow. China's investments include the building of airports, highways and hydro-power projects. Nepal, however, remains dependent on India for all its oil needs and many other necessary supplies and medicines.

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The date of the prime minister's visit to India has not been fixed but is likely to be within weeks, Saud said.

"During the prime minister's visit, there is going to be important discussion on water resources projects, trade and exporting electricity to third countries, Saud said.

"There are several mechanisms for discussions on issues concerning the two nations which have been stalled and unable to be active for several reasons including COVID-19, he said. We are going to try to activate those mechanisms.

Both Nepal and India have set up committees to work on issues related to border disputes, sharing river water, and even a friendship treaty that is long due to be reviewed.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 26 2023 | 11:42 PM IST

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