KATHMANDU, Jan 25: Ambassador of India to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri on Thursday said that India is ready to cooperate with the next government.
Speaking at a special interaction program organized on the eve of the 69th Republic Day of India at Reporters’ Club Nepal, Ambassador Puri said, “India and Nepal share a very positive and special bond. The Indian government will have immense support to the new government being formed in Nepal.”
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held telephone conversations with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN-UML Chair KP Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal to congratulate on the successful completion of all three tiers of election. Modi, a few days later, had called Oli again to congratulate him on the election success,which the left alliance swept, and even said that he was eager to welcome Oli in India after the formation of new government.
Envoy Puri said that Modi calling Oli was a positive message that India wants to cooperate Nepal in the further days ahead as well.
“After the completion of Nepal elections, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a telephone conversation with top leaders of major three parties. He again telephoned CPN-UML Chair KP Oli sometimes later. It is a very positive message for both the countries,” he said adding, “Both the countries should make effort to boost the age-old bilateral relation.”
“Being the closest neighbors we share such warm and close bond in cultural, religious, political and people-to-people level. In international relation, if there is cooperation between the neighboring countries, it means win-win situation.”
“The relation between Nepal and India, especially the 70 years–after the independence of India–I want to say it’s the saga of permanent friendship and partnership of progress.”
“It’s a matter of happiness to me that we have friendship, partnership and cooperation.”
Puri further said that the economic relation between the two countries can be moved forward by establishing connectivity and partnership. He said, “Today, more than two-thirds of Nepal’s trade is in India. What we can do to each other is that: we can increase connectivity and activities in trade and business.”
“The biggest Integrated Check Post is ready in Birjung. We are waiting for some formalities to be completed. Establishment of such ICP in the single biggest transit will immensely move forward the growing business between Nepal and India,” he added. “It is a plan for the future as well.”
“Also, works on Integrated Check Post in Biratnagar has already started. India is making efforts to bring as such projects in bordering areas. After years of waiting, works on the biggest hydroelectric project Arun III has also started.”
“If connectivity like air links, rail links and so on are increased more and more between the two countries, both countries can benefit a lot. It is matter of happiness that together we are doing far better in connectivity, hydropower and people to people link.”
He further added both Nepal and India should keep on maintaining and bettering the partnership of progress and prosperity that we have at current. “We can both benefit a lot form this win-win situation,” he added.
Commenting on the 69th Republic Day of India, which is being celebrated on January 26, he said, “India became independent in 1947 after 200 years of colonial rule. In these 70 years of period, we have progressed a lot not only in economic development, but political development, national integrity, societal reform and transformation. And I, as an Indian citizen and ambassador, am proud of my country. A report of International Monetary Fund has said that India is set be gain the title of fastest growing economy in the world.”
“It is an opportunity for Nepal as well. India’s growth is an automatic plus for Nepal as well. Nepal has several befits from this,” he furthered.
Responding to a query on India’s view over the border dispute in Parsa, he clarified, “India and Nepal had agreed on border to be ‘fixed on border principles’ in 1998. The demarcation and strip maps have been prepared for the entire border. And as for the India-Nepal joint perusal, which is going on, the locations for the pillars we already there earlier and was pre-determined lines.”
“If there have been any changes in the ground, things have to discuss between both the governments,” he added.