New Delhi: Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, who is in Delhi, on Friday said that Kathmandu believes in good relations with both New Delhi and Beijing and is keen to use its geography as an opportunity. In response to a question during his only public meet during a three-day visit, Gyawali said, “Nepal has always maintained good relations with our both neighbours (India and China). We never compare our relationship with our friends.”
He explained “being located between the two largest markets of the global speaks a volume…It provides us to be benefited by the fastest economic growth of our neighbouring countries..that is why we are strengthening our relations with neighbouring countries but we never compare our relations.”
China has increased its foray in Nepal, even as the country has had much-celebrated ties with India based on “roti beti ka rishta” (family ties). Beijing, under the KP Sharma Oli govt and the erstwhile united Nepal communist party saw a lot of high-level exchanges including a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Meanwhile, India’s focus, even amid the new Nepal map row was continued people to people exchange. The Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum products pipeline is the first cross country pipeline in south Asia, with both sides keen on the expansion of the pipeline to Chitwan. A new pipeline on the eastern side connecting Siliguri to Jhapa in Nepal is being discussed. On the connectivity front, the focus is on the possible Raxaul-Kathmandu broad gauge railway line.
Lauding India, the FM said, “India has demonstrated how democracy and development could be successfully pursued together so as to promote overall progress and prosperity of the people.” Indian PM Modi has travelled many times to Nepal and had a number of engagements with Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli. Last year on India’s Independence Day both PMs had spoken to each other.