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Nepal committed to better ties with India

world Updated: Jul 09, 2009 19:10 IST

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The Nepal government said it would seek better ties with neighbours India and China, as it unveiled policies and programmes for the current financial year on Thursday.

A 27-page document, presented in parliament by President Ram Baran Yadav, said foreign policy would be conducted "on the principles of the UN Charter, Panchasheela, and Non-alignment keeping national interest on the top".

"Friendly and cordial relations with neighbouring countries, particularly India and China, will be further strengthened on the basis of mutual respect, equality, co-operation and cordiality," it said.

"Nepalese territory will not be allowed to be used against any neighbouring and friendly country."

Both Indians living in the Indo-Nepal border areas as well as Nepalis stand to benefit from Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal's plan to begin corridor road projects that would connect the Nepal-India border with Nepal's border with Tibet.

The Communist-led government also plans a fast track connecting Kathmandu to the Terai, a bridge over the Kosi river and strengthening the barrage over it.

Nepal, which currently has a single international airport, the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, will also initiate a new airport at Nijgarh in Bara district on the Indo-Nepal border that would make cross-border travel faster, cheaper and easier for thousands in each country.

Facing a spate of allegations about encroachment of Nepali land by Indians, the government has pledged to strengthen border security - India and Nepal share over 1,800 km of open border.

The new government will also implement a new industrial policy emphasising safety of industrial zones. The prime minister will head a new board of investment for smooth and prompt implementation of decisions relating to private sector investment.

Indian companies are among the biggest investors in Nepal. They have remained plagued by lack of security, militant trade unionism and alleged partisan decisions by earlier governments.