Tue, 26 Jan 2021

New Delhi [India], November 23 (ANI): Nepal has off late hardened its position and has even made a constitutional amendment to show parts of India as Nepalese territory.

Sources say India's position is well stated on this issue. India is not accepting Nepal map and termed it Cartographic assertion and it is unlikely that this issue will be raised during the visit. Separate parleys on boundary issues may take place later.

This will be the first visit by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla after assuming office. This will be "to know" courtesy visit in nature, according to sources.

Despite strong recent statements by Nepalese leadership blaming India for Covid spike and constitution amendment on the map, sources here feel that relationship is on the correct path and a lot is happening. Whether it is people-centric connectivity projects, support to counter Covid, repatriation of Nepalese citizens, improvement in transit trade infrastructure, both countries share good relations said a source familiar with developments.

Sources further told ANI, "Nepal Prime Minister has reached out. Indian army chief was invited and he was very well received. Prime Ministers of both the countries have met four times. Joint commission is working. There is heavy engagement as 40 bilateral mechanisms between the two countries are working. India will be focussing to increase people-oriented projects especially the connectivity, rail, land, air, transit trade, and inland waterways. New Delhi is also keen to increase scholarship for Nepalese students studying in India."India has extended huge support to Nepal in supplying medicines and Covid protection goods and will also be looking forward to extend support in supplying vaccines.

According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, "The visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and the priority India attaches to its relations with Nepal."During the visit, Shringla will meet his counterpart and other Nepalese dignitaries to discuss the wide-ranging bilateral cooperation between the two countries, the MEA said.

In recent years, bilateral cooperation between India and Nepal has strengthened, with several major infrastructure and cross-border connectivity projects completed with India's assistance. The visit will be an opportunity to further advance our bilateral ties, it added. (ANI)

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