India has no problem with Nepal’s growing relationship with China: Menon
Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said India has no problems with Nepal’s growing relationships with China, and reiterated that New Delhi wants stability, peace and democracy in the Himalayan Nation, reports Anirban Roy.world Updated: Feb 19, 2009 03:05 IST
Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon on Wednesday said India has no problems with Nepal’s growing relationships with China, and reiterated that New Delhi wants stability, peace and democracy in the Himalayan Nation.
“Nepal is a sovereign country, and we have no problem in its bi-lateral relationships with any other country,” Menon told journalists in Kathmandu before leaving for New Delhi, after completion of his 24-hour trip to Nepal
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday had alleged that the Indian government was a mute spectator to increasing Chinese influences in Nepal.
After the taking over of Maoist-led government in Nepal, several senior Chinese politicians, military generals and intellectuals have been visiting Nepal. Even Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was in Kathmandu in November last year.
During the last couple of months, many Nepali politicians, ministers, journalists and youth leaders have also been undertaken familiarization trips to China.
Moreover, the Chinese government has also offered soft loans and special financial grants for development of roads and other major infrastructure in the insurgency-ravaged Himalayan nation.
“We are only concerned about the Indo-Nepal relations, and don’t think about others,” the Foreign Secretary said, adding, “We always want a stable, peaceful and prosperous Nepal”.
Nepal being the closest neighbour, Menon said India gives highest priority to relations between the two countries.
The Foreign Secretary said his meeting with Nepal’s Prime Minister Prachanda on Tuesday morning was primarily focused on strengthening bilateral relations and development assistance.
Menon said construction and repair works on the Koshi embankment is on schedule. “The river is back in its original course, and the problem is actually beyond the control of both Nepal and India,” he said.
The Koshi river breached embankments in several places in Nepal last year, and rendered more than 50,000 people homeless in Nepal. It caused devastating floods in north Bihar and affected five million people.
“It is a bigger problem as the Koshi river faces heavy siltation. Both the countries should now work together to find a long-term solution to the problem,” he said.
Menon said Nepal’s request to build the 207 MW Naumure project is yet to be assessed. The Nepal government had asked India to build the Naumure project on West Rapti River, on the border between Dang and Pyuthan districts.