Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 10
India and Nepal reviewed bilateral ties spread across many sectors, especially progress on three transformative initiatives in agriculture, railways and inland waterways, besides ongoing bilateral development and connectivity projects.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the significant progress made in different sectors of cooperation as a result of intensified bilateral exchanges at all levels, a Ministry of External Affairs release said at the conclusion of talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Nepalese counterpart Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, who was here to attend the Raisina Dialogue.
The two Ministers reiterated their commitment to maintain the new momentum and further strengthen the traditionally close friendly ties. Foreign Minister Gyawali extended an invitation to Swaraj to visit Nepal to co-chair the next meeting of the joint commission, to be held at an early date.
In his address at the Raisina Dialogue, organised by the MEA and Observer Research Foundation, Gyawali said Nepal cherished India’s prosperity and appreciated New Delhi’s decision to allow cross-border trade in electricity that would help his country, which was rich in hydro-power.
Nepal and India, he said, have reinvigorated bilateral mechanism and hoped the relations would strengthen further. Gyawali also said his country would work together with India to strengthen SAARC, BIMSTEC and also BBIN.
Underscoring his country’s foreign policy as independent and dictated by what is good for the people, Nepal, he said, is a country of peace-loving people who do not bear ill-will towards any country.
In an apparent reference to China, he said one country’s rise should not be seen as a threat to others and that rise of China and India would benefit all nations in the region as well as the world.
Criticising the protectionist policies pursued by the United States now, he said a country that once was a proponent of globalisation is now raising barriers. He said Nepal is a small country with less resources and it believes in multilateralism and rule-based order, essential for its survival.