Foreign Secretaries of Nepal-India held meeting, divergent issues discussed

NFA (KATHMANDU, 26 November 2020) – Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Thursday after holding formal bilateral meetings with Nepali counterpart.

During the call, divergent issues of Nepal-India relations were discussed including the disputed boundary issues of Limpiyadhura, Lipulek and Kalapani. Foreign Secretary conveyed the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Prime Minister Oli saying that the bilateral relations should be further strengthened on the basis of mutual trust and cooperation.

Before the meetings with Prime Minister Oli, the two foreign secretaries had held formal bilateral meetings. The Foreign Secretaries of Nepal and India had held the delegation-level meeting in the capital today after a gap of about one year. Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal led the 11-member Nepali delegation while Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla led the Indian delegation comprising of 11 members. All topics related to Nepal-India relations were discussed in the meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The Nepali delegation was comprised of Joint Secretary duo Sewa Lamsal and Yagya Bahadur Hamal among the officials while the Indian delegation includeed Joint Secretary (North) at the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, India’s Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra and the embassy officials. Before this, the two Foreign Secretaries held discussions on various topics of bilateral interest and concern. Joint Secretaries Hamal and Bagchi as well as Ambassador Kwatra were present on the occasion.

Secretary Shringla had arrived in Kathmandu today on a two-day visit at the invitation of Secretary Paudyal. The Indian Foreign Secretary was welcomed at the VIP lounge of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) by Secretary Paudyal and high officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Kwatra along with the embassy senior officials.

Secretary Shringla informed journalists at TIA about the objective of his visit in Nepali language: “Bidesh Sachivka rupama Kathmandu aaunda malai atyanta khusi lageko chha, pahile pani ma Kathmandu aeko chhu tara bidesh sachivka rupama mero yo pahilo bhraman ho. Bharat ra Nepal nikatatam mitra hun, hamro maitripurna sambandhalai ajha aghi badhauna ma Nepal aeko hun. (I am very pleased to come to Kathmandu as the Foreign Secretary, I have come to Kathmandu before as well but this is my first visit in the capacity of Foreign Secretary. India and Nepal are close friends, I have come to Nepal to further enhance our friendly ties.)” Stating that he would be busy in high-level meetings today, Thursday and tomorrow, Friday, he said he would travel to Gorkha on Friday to inaugurate three school buildings there reconstructed by the Government of India.

The Indian Foreign Secretary informed that 40 thousand houses have been rebuilt in Gorkha as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of reconstructing 50 thousand houses. He said the Buddhist Monastery constructed in Manang would also be inaugurated on Friday itself. However, he did not mention whether the monastery would be inaugurated virtually or physically.

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