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30 Mar 2020, 03:04 HRS IST
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  • Nepal says if India can resolve boundary issue with Bangladesh, why not Kathmandu

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17:46 HRS IST

By Anil K Joseph

(Eds: Adds more quotes)

Kathmandu, Jan 24 (PTI)
If India can resolve its land boundary issue with Bangladesh then why not with Nepal, Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said on Friday, referring to the lingering territorial differences between the two neighbours.

India in November released fresh maps of the newly-created union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. In the maps, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is part of Jammu and Kashmir, while Gilgit-Baltistan is in Ladakh.

Nepal claimed that Limpiyadhura, Lipulek and Kalapani areas were shown under India's territory even though they lie within the Nepalese territory.

India has said the new map accurately depicts its sovereign territory and it has in no manner revised its boundary with Nepal.

"If India can resolve land boundary issue with Bangaldesh, why not Nepal?" Foreign Minister Gyawali asked during an interaction with a group of visiting Indian journalists at a briefing on 'Sagarmatha Sambaad' at the Nepalese Foreign Ministry here.

No "unresolved baggage" should be carried forward since there is an increased level of understanding between the two countries and their leaders, he added.

Asked about the status of Kalapani and boundary issue with India, the minister said that the core issue is a baggage which was handed over by the history to both the countries.

"Nepal's current boundary was demarcated, fixed by the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 and the consecutive complementary treaties of December 1816, 1860 and 1875. There are three other agreements which are related to the treaty which categorically tells that Nepal's western border is demarcated by the Kali river, so in the historical evidence, documents and maps that Kali, in Nepal we call it Mahakali river, is the western boundary river of Nepal.

"So, Nepal wants to settle this unresolved or pending issue according to the Sugauli Treaty and other correspondence at that time, historical maps, evidences," Gyawali said.

"I do believe that both the countries have strong political stability, leaders are visionary and they have good personal contacts as well and commitment to resolve pending issues through diplomatic process," the minister said.

Nepal has already conveyed its concern to India which has expressed that it is ready to resolve the pending issues through discussion, he said.

"So I think we should settle so that no unresolved baggage can be the obstacle for the cordial relation between Nepal and India because there is no any alternative for the excellent bilateral relation between these countries," Gyawali said.

His remarks came days after Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli said that the time has come to resolve all pending issues through dialogue in the lasting interest of the two countries.

"The time has come to resolve all pending issues through dialogue in the lasting interest of our two countries. A stable and majority government in both countries is an opportune moment and my government remains committed to working closely with the Government of India towards this end," Oli had said over a video-link before the joint inauguration of the Rs 140 crore Jogbani-Biratnagar Integrated Check Post with an aim to improve bilateral trade and people-to-people contact.

India and Bangladesh in 2015 resolved their boundary issues by swapping enclaves following a historic deal signed between the two countries' prime ministers, giving thousands of people in stateless limbo for almost 70 years an option to chose the nationality of either Bangladesh or India.

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