Nepal wants diplomatic solution to Lipu Lekh issue: FM Gyawali

Lipu Lekh link road controversy

KATHMANDU, May 10: Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gwayali said Nepal wants a diplomatic solution to the Lipu Lekh issue, keeping at center Nepal’s sovereignty, national interest and the spirit of a good neighbor.

After India inaugurated the 79-km long link road connecting Lipu Lekh which is the Nepali territory , the Government of Nepal has told India “to refrain from carrying out any activity inside the territory of Nepal.”

Nepal has consistently maintained that the territories east of Mahakali river including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh belong to Nepal as per the 1816 Sugauli Treaty, several times in the past and most recently after India issued its new political map placing these Nepali territories inside Indian border in November last year.

Nepal had also expressed disagreement toward the understanding reached between India and China to include Lipu Lekh, which lies inside the Nepali border, as a bilateral route without Nepal’s consent during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to China on May 15, 2015.

“The government of Nepal maintains that Nepal’s border is determined by the Sugauli Treaty. And followed by the 15 November 1860 treaty, no further bilateral agreement regarding the change in territories has been reached,” he said.

Nepal believes that the issues should be resolved through diplomatic efforts based on the fact historical treaty, documents, facts and maps keeping at the center the national sovereignty, national interest and the spirit of friendly ties between the neighbors.”

“Nepal Government had proposed the dates for holding the meeting of the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries, but India has not responded to the diplomatic effort made to resolve the boundary issues as per the understanding reached between the two countries at the prime minister level in 2014.”

“We have made continuous diplomatic efforts to resolve the border issues. But, without even formally responding to the proposed dates, India inaugurated the link road using the Nepali territories, which has drawn the serious attention of the government.”

“At the time when the world is fighting against the coronavirus pandemic, I request the Indian government not to do such activities that questions the sensitivity of the neighboring countries.”

According to Gyawali, the Indian government had decided to construct the link road in 2005. But it officially started in 2008 and the project was expedited in 2014.

He also appealed for a constructive role to resolve the issue.