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India dismisses Maoists' criticism

Reacting to recent spurt in anti-India statements, rhetoric and activities by ruling Maoists in Nepal, India on Wednesday stated that it wants an end to such baseless criticism. Utpal Parashar reports

world Updated: Apr 21, 2011 02:19 IST
Utpal Parashar

Reacting to recent spurt in anti-India statements, rhetoric and activities by ruling Maoists in Nepal, India on Wednesday stated that it wants an end to such baseless criticism.

External affairs minister SM Krishna who arrived here on a three-day visit expressed this sentiment during interactions with Nepali leaders held during the day.

"We have taken note of statements and activities of Maoists leaders. We encourage them to refrain from such baseless criticism and activities like defacing of the Indian flag," said MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash.

During his talks, Krishna also took up the issue of problems faced by Indian companies in Nepal.

"The external affairs minister underlined the need to create an atmosphere that is conducive for strengthening of economic ties. We want a level-playing field and fair treatment to Indian companies in Nepal," he said.

India is Nepal's biggest trade partner and 44% of investments in Nepal come from Indian companies. In 2009-10, 58% of Nepal's trade (US $ 3.5 billion) took place with India.

Earlier in the day, Krishna reiterated India's cooperation and contribution to Nepal's development. He also expressed commitment for a democratic, stable, peaceful and prosperous Nepal.

"It has been India's endeavour to strengthen economic cooperation with Nepal and to contribute to Nepal's development," said Krishna. "Relations with Nepal are and will continue to be a matter of highest priority for India."

Krishna is leading a seven-member delegation that includes foreign secretary Nirupama Rao.

The two sides had an hour long bilateral discussion that encompassed the entire gamut of issues. Nepal foreign secretary Madan Kumar Bhattarai termed the deliberations as fruitful.

Later in the day, Krishna had meetings with President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal.

During his stay the external affairs minister will hold meetings with leaders of major political parties and visit Birgunj on the India-Nepal border to lay the foundation stone of the Integrated Check Post and Terai Roads Project.