Nepal repeats call for talks with India to resolve border disputes
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 4:18 PM
Nepal has reiterated an offer to hold talks with India to resolve territorial disputes that have strained relations between the two South Asian countries.
Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said in an interview with AP on Tuesday that his country was still waiting for a response from India on holding talks to resolve the issues.
The requests to talk were made in November and December last year, and again in May, the top Nepalese diplomat said.
"We have expressed time and again that Nepal wants to sit at the table to resolve this problem," Gyawali said.
"We are waiting for formal negotiations so that these two countries with… a very unique type of partnership can develop a more inspiring relationship that reflects the requirements of the 21st century," the minister said.
Nepal has long claimed the areas of Limpiyadhura, Kalapani, and Lipu Lekh in accordance with the 1816 Sugauli treaty with the British. The disputed areas have remained in control of Indian troops since 1962.
Another border dispute between the countries began over India's inauguration last month of a Himalayan link road built in a disputed region. The 80-kilometer road is considered one of the most feasible trade routes between India and China.
The dispute over the territory also led to an exchange of strongly-worded statements from both sides.
The two countries have held a series of talks to resolve the disputes. But India reportedly does not want to hold negotiations with Nepal until its coronavirus outbreak is brought under control.
"If the coronavirus is an obstacle for not being able to hold diplomatic dialog soon, it should have been an obstacle for the inauguration of the link road as well," Gyawali said. "But if the coronavirus did not create any problem to the inauguration, that means there are some controversies, there are some paradoxes."
India has rejected Nepal's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government was ignoring the long-standing dispute with its neighbor.
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