New Delhi, April 2
Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to establish a bilateral mechanism to resolve the boundary issue while India said the general understanding between the two sides was to address it in a responsible manner and that its “politicisation” should be avoided.
In his statement to the media in presence of Modi, Deuba said the boundary issue was discussed in the talks between the two sides and he urged the Indian prime minister to resolve it through the establishment of a bilateral mechanism.
Hours later at a media briefing, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said there was a general understanding that the issue needed to be addressed in a responsible manner through dialogue and its “politicisation” should be avoided.
Deuba arrived in New Delhi on Friday in his first bilateral visit abroad after becoming prime minister for the fifth time in July 2021.
“We discussed the boundary issues and I urged Modiji to resolve it through the establishment (of) bilateral mechanism,” Deuba said after the talks.
On his part, Modi said it was discussed that the open borders between India and Nepal are not misused by undesirable elements.
“We discussed that the open borders between India and Nepal are not misused by undesirable elements. We emphasised on deepening of cooperation between our defence and security authorities. I am confident that our talks today will be able to attain the objective of achieving the ambitious targets of the India-Nepal ties,” he said.
Ties between the two countries came under severe strain after Kathmandu published a new political map in 2020 that showed the three Indian territories — Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh — as part of Nepal.
On its part, India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and cautioned Kathmandu that such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.
“The issue was briefly discussed. There was a general understanding that both sides needed to address this in a responsible manner through discussion and dialogue in the spirit of our close and friendly relations and politicisation of such issues needs to be avoided,” Shringla said.
Shringla was replying to a question on the issue at a media briefing on the Modi-Deuba talks.