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International Relations

Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on Tuesday said bilateral disputes with India should be dealt with dialogue by the majority governments of both countries, indicating Kathmandu’s political willingness to resolve the row over the Kalapani territorial issue with New Delhi.

“The time has come to resolve all pending issues through dialogue in the lasting interest of our two countries. A stable and majority government in both countries is an opportune moment. My government remains committed to working closely with the Government of India towards this end. Our Ministers and respective officials will meet to sort out differences and advance the partnership agenda,” said Mr. Oli over a video-link before the inauguration of the Integrated Check Post at Jogbani-Biratnagar that has been built with Indian assistance.

Row over new map

The Kalapani issue was reignited after India published a new political map in November 2019 that displayed its continued position over the territory as part of Uttarakhand. Following this, protests and comments poured in from the Nepali side, though high-level Nepali diplomats maintained that New Delhi and Kathmandu should resolve the issue through dialogue. In response, India maintained that the political map depicted India’s sovereign territory “accurately”.

Mr. Oli also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Kathmandu. He said he looked forward to receiving the Indian leader. Both leaders referred to India’s contribution for the earthquake relief and rebuilding work in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts of Nepal.

expressing satisfaction over the way houses had been built with Indian assistance in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts, Mr. Modi said, “The earthquake of 2015 was a painful incident. Natural disasters like earthquakes test human determination. Every Indian is proud about the way our Nepali brothers and sisters have dealt with the challenge with courage. As the nearest neighbour and friend this assistance was our duty.”

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