Foreign Secretary Shringla hold bilateral talks with Nepali counterpart

Nov 26, 2020

Foreign Secretary Shringla hold bilateral talks with Nepali counterpart

Kathmandu [Nepal], November 26 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who is on a two-day visit to Kathmandu, held bilateral talks with his Nepali counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal on Thursday.
Shringla arrived in Nepal on Thursday for his maiden visit. He was received by Paudyal.
Upon his arrival, Shringla said India and Nepal have "very strong" ties and their endeavour would be to take the relationship between the two nations forward.
"I wanted to come here earlier also but because of COVID-19 could not do so. I am very happy to be here. We have a very strong relationship. Our endeavour will be to see how we can take the relationship forward," he said after arriving in the capital of Kathmandu.
This is the first visit by Shringla to Nepal since assuming charge. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Shringla's visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and the priority India attaches to its relations with Nepal.
"India has historical and civilisation linkages with Nepal. In recent years, bilateral cooperation has strengthened, with several major infrastructures and cross-border connectivity projects completed with India's assistance. The visit will be an opportunity to further advance our bilateral ties," the ministry said.
Essentially, this is an initial courtesy and a "getting-to-know-you" visit, which got delayed due to Covid-19, sources said.
Shringla visit will help underline the warmth of the relationship, the sources said, adding that it will also help enhance the level of our engagement, and allow a comprehensive review of our ties after a gap of some time. "We are keen to take forward this momentum, and make progress on the diverse sectors that encompass our bilateral relations," they asserted.
Shringla's visit came months at a time the ties between the two countries are under strain after Nepal released a new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories.
India reacted sharply, calling it a "unilateral act" and cautioning Kathmandu that such "artificial enlargement" of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.
Sources said the boundary issue will not be discussed during Shringla's visit.
"India's position is well stated on this issue. India is not accepting Nepal map and termed it Cartographic assertion and it is unlikely that this issue will be raised during the visit. Separate parleys on boundary issues may take place later," the source said.
Earlier this month, Indian Army chief Gen. M M Naravane travelled to Nepal on a three-day visit during which he held talks with Nepal's top leadership and discussed bilateral relations.
During the visit, he called on Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, who is also the defence minister of Nepal. Oli told him that problems between Nepal and India would be resolved through dialogue.
Gen Naravane's three-day visit to Nepal was largely aimed at resetting bilateral ties that came under severe strain following a bitter border row between the two countries. (ANI)