Nepal PM Oli says ‘Want to have friendly neighbourly relations’

Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on Saturday stressed on the need of having friendly relations with its neighbours.

Speaking at the India Foundation event here, Oli said, “We are a country in between two big neighbours. We want to play friendly neighbourly relations, neighbourly policy and the most important thing for us is friendship.”

Underlining the need to respect friendship, he added, “As friendly neighbours, we respect each other’s sensitivities. We will never let our land to be used against sovereign India. We are firm in our resolve and we need the same kind of assurance from India.”

Oli further said that he wished for a prosperous Nepal and that he needed for support across the world, particularly from its neighbours.

Praising rapid rise of India’s status, he said, “We cherish India’s progress and prosperity. The wonderful journey of India as an economic powerhouse is inspiring for people around the world.”

Dwelling upon the warm and cordial relations between India and Nepal, Oli stated that relations has grown into more expansive and multi-dimensional in recent times.

“Our objective is to bring relations to the next level and to not slide back. Our objective is clear,” said Oli.

The Nepal Prime Minister said that his country advocates an independent foreign policy without any external obstacles.

Further stressing on the relations with India, Oli added, “Our foreign policy that defines our relations is to strengthen it and lay the foundation of it, but not weaken it. Our relations has to be expanded and consolidated and to not limit its scope.”

Oli also said that Nepal wished to be as prosperous as India, adding that New Delhi was Kathmandu’s largest trading partner. However, he was wary of Nepal’s massive trade deficit.

He said, “Our economy cannot sustain an alarmingly high trade imbalance with India. We are not a competitor to India, we need breathing space. We need India’s support to be economically strong.”

Oli lauded India’s timely assistance in the financial and infrastructural development of Nepal. He also pressed for deeper cooperation in the development of regional connectivity for people-to-people contact and in the agricultural sector.

Talking about his India visit, the Nepal Prime Minister added, “During this visit, I had comprehensive and frank conversations with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi on issues of mutual interests. I firmly believe and hope you all will agree that a peaceful and prosperous Nepal is in the larger interest of India as well as other neighbours.”

Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Suresh Prabhu and MoS Ministry of External Affairs General V.K. Singh were also present at the India Foundation conclave.

Oli is currently on a three-day visit to India, having arrived earlier on Friday.


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