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China-Nepal exercises don’t worry us: India

Kathmandu-New Delhi ties have their own logic ... the ties are time-tested, unique and very, very close: MEA official

The relationship between Kathmandu and New Delhi has its “own logic”, India said on Sunday. The enduring ties between the two sides are not concerned with the ongoing military exercises between China and Nepal, the External Affairs Ministry said.

Officials hinted that Nepal’s pending constitutional amendments were likely to be discussed during this week’s visit of President Bidya Devi Bhandari to Delhi. “India-Nepal ties have their own logic and as far as we are concerned, the ties are time-tested, unique and very, very close,” said Sudhakar Dalela, Joint Secretary in charge of Nepal in the Ministry. He said India-Nepal ties were people-centric.

First-ever joint exercise

The issue of China’s first-ever military exercise with Nepal forms the backdrop of the state visit of Ms. Bhandari between April 17 and 21.

The visit was expected last May but was cancelled at the last moment as Nepal recalled its Ambassador to Delhi because of political and diplomatic uncertainties in Kathmandu.

The China-Nepal exercise, “Sagarmatha Friendship – 2017” began on Sunday in Nepal Army’s paratraining school in Maharajganj and will continue for 10 days.

Though the official said that India was not concerned with the military exercise, he highlighted that India remained concerned about long-term peace, stability and the amendments to the Nepal Constitution of 2015.

“India has an abiding interest in the stability and development of Nepal. The Government of India has been very supportive of efforts for building an inclusive agenda in its widest possible definition which will consolidate democracy in Nepal,” the official said when asked if the amendments would be discussed with President Bhandari.

The presidential visit is also important in view of the election process that has begun in Nepal with the announcement of local-level polls in March.

The local-level elections to be held on May 14 will begin a year-long process which will culminate in the election of Parliament of Nepal.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 5:50:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/china-nepal-exercises-dont-worry-us-india/article18072748.ece

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