Govt claims neighbours positive on trilateral co-opNepal’s two giant neighbours seem positive on a trilateral strategic partnership, as proposed by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Brics Summit in Goa, India.
Nepal’s two giant neighbours seem positive on a trilateral strategic partnership, as proposed by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Brics Summit in Goa, India.
India, however, said the meeting was “just a coincidence”. In a briefing to the media on Sunday in Goa, Spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said the meeting between Nepali, Indian and Chinese leaders was not pre-planned, “nor was it a trilateral meeting”.
Dahal’s secretariat stated on Sunday that the PM officially proposed trilateral cooperation between Nepal, India and China during the meeting on Saturday evening. The proposal was welcomed by both India and China, the statement claimed, quoting both Modi and Xi.
Though the PM’s side had claimed that the meeting was “unplanned” when the Indian PM dropped in suddenly while Dahal and Xi were talking, officials privy to the meeting said Nepal had already requested for such an interaction to both the sides. Such a high-level meeting would have been impossible otherwise, said a senior official. “The meeting was pre-scheduled and well-choreographed at the request of the Nepali side.”
Since PM Dahal was preparing to attend the summit, he had expressed his desire to meet Modi and Xi together to push the idea of trilateral cooperation. While Beijing had responded positively to the request, New Delhi had remained non-committal until the last minute, according to officials. Nepal first proposed trilateral cooperation during Dahal’s first tenure as the PM in 2008. Dahal had held a one-on-one meeting with Xi for 20 minutes before interacting with Modi and Xi together, the PM’s Secretariat stated.
MEA India Spokesperson Swarup said, “Dahal was briefly stopped due to the motorcade of the Brazilian president. At the same time Modi and Xi were also there for a short stopover for dinner and coincidently they met.”
Dahal’s secretariat claimed that the Indian PM welcomed the idea. Some Maoist leaders say India and China can do business via Nepal, Nepal can be a link between the two nations through rail and road and both the Asian giants can work together for harnessing the hydro resources of Nepal.
Dahal reportedly told the Chinese and Indian leaders that Nepal wants to be a “dynamic bridge” between the two countries. “Both the leaders told me this is an important proposal,” PM’s Secre-tariat quoted Dahal as saying.
Dahal reminded Modi and Xi that Nepal used to be the link between India and China in ancient times by means of the Buddha, Janaki and Pashupatinath. “In this modern age too, we once again want to be the bridge between India and China where relations between them can be harmonious and cordial.” PM Dahal said Nepal wants balanced, friendly and strategic relations with its neighbours.
Nepal, India and China share geographical, sentimental and cultural similarities and friendship, Modi reportedly said at the meeting.
“The size of a country doesn’t matter for cooperation,” Xi was quoted as saying. “The proposal forwarded by Nepal is important and China wants to be a part of it.” The statement also quoted Xi as praising Nepal for maintaining equidistance between India and China.