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Consultative mechanism helps enhance mutual cooperation between Nepal and India: FM Shreshtha

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Kathmandu, May 15 (PTI) A consultative mechanism has been established between Nepal and India to facilitate cooperation in various areas of bilateral relations, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha has said, asserting that such mechanisms have enhanced mutual cooperation and partnership.

“Cross-border connectivity is being expanded to facilitate trade and transit. We need to further expand and improve this network,” Shreshtha was quoted as saying by the Himalayan Times newspaper on Wednesday.

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Addressing the third series of lectures – themed ‘Nepal-India Relations: Prospects and Pathways’ here on Tuesday, Shreshtha said that a consultative mechanism has been established to facilitate cooperation in various areas of bilateral relations. Such mechanisms have enhanced mutual cooperation and partnership, he added.

Invoking the longstanding history of mutual friendship and cooperation between Nepal-India that include geographical proximity; religious, cultural and linguistic relations; economic engagement and intensely flourished people-to-people relations, Shreshtha said that there are some bilateral issues that need to be resolved through dialogue and diplomatic channels.

“…there are some bilateral issues historically left behind that need to be resolved through dialogue and diplomatic channels based on historical facts and in accordance with the spirit of (being) good neighbours,” Shreshtha said.

The exchange of high-level visits has helped strengthen the relations and enhance partnership in many fields, he said.

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“This will pave the way for taking Nepal-India relations to a new height, for which the Government of Nepal is committed,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

Envisaging a “wider scope” for cooperation in various areas of mutual benefits, he said a partnership in the energy sector is important. “Proper utilisation of Nepal’s immense potential of hydropower generation can transform the development landscape of our region with clean energy.”

Pointing that there is a lot of scope for cooperation between Nepal and India in the field of information technology, the Foreign Minister stressed the need to expand bilateral cooperation in the field of education, science and technology.

Stating that Nepal’s development and economic prosperity would also serve the interests of its neighbours, he said a peaceful neighbourhood was Nepal’s desire.

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The event was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in honour of former ambassador and former foreign secretary Prof Yadunath Khanal here. Khanal had served the nation as foreign secretary for two terms and ambassador to China, India and the United States.

Nepal shares a border of over 1,850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Land-locked Nepal relies heavily on India for the transportation of goods and services. PTI NPK ZH








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