Nepal cannot wait for the Covid-19 crisis to be over to hold talks with India on boundary issues, Gyawali saysThe foreign minister tells the House committee Kathmandu will hold talks with Beijing as well over Lipulekh.
Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali has said that Nepal wants boundary talks with India immediately and that it cannot wait for the Covid crisis to be over for the same. Gyawali also said that Nepal will hold talks with China after sorting the issue out with India.
The International Relations Committee of Parliament had summoned Gyawali on Monday morning to discuss the boundary row in the wake of India’s unilateral move of opening a road link to Lipulekh, which Nepal claims as its territory.
India on Friday announced that it had opened a road link to Lipulekh, which Nepal claims as its territory.
“Nepal, India and China are yet to ascertain the tri-junction in Lipulekh. So after talks with India, we will hold talks with China as well,” Gyawal told the committee.
India’s opening of the road link came six months after New Delhi placed Kalapani, a territory Nepal claims as its own, within Indian borders in a map released in line with New Delhi’s decision to repeal the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir and split up the two into two federal territories.
Following that incident, Nepal had sought dates for holding talks, which have yet to materialise.
The ministry on Saturday reiterated that the government of Nepal twice proposed dates for a meeting of the foreign secretaries of the two countries, as mandated by their leaders.
“It is still awaiting a response from India,” said the ministry.
Hours later, India in its response said that it has built the road within its territory.
Issuing a statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs also said both sides are also in the process of scheduling Foreign Secretary level talks which will be held once the dates are finalised between the two sides after the two societies and governments have successfully dealt with the challenge of Covid-19 emergency.
At Monday’s House committee meeting, Gyawali, however, said that Nepal cannot wait for the Covid-19 crisis to be over to hold talks with India.
“We are ready for talks at any level with India–at the prime minister level or foreing secretary level,” said Gyawali.