New Delhi, April 7: Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli, who arrived in India on Friday on a three-day state visit, said that the country will never let its land to be used against sovereign India. “We will never let our land to be used against sovereign India. We are firm in our resolve and we need the same kind of assurance from India,” he said while speaking at India Foundation reception in New Delhi on Saturday.
Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Suresh Prabhu, and MoS MEA VK Singh was also present at the event. Oli further stated that Nepal economy cannot sustain an alarmingly high trade imbalance with India. “We are not a competitor to India,” he said.
Oli was received by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the national capital on Friday. During his three-day trip, India and Nepal are likely to take up pacts related to agriculture, research & development, education & training, and expansion of rail up to Kathmandu, reported IANS.
The visiting Prime Minister said that Nepal wants to play friendly neighbourly relations, neighbourly policy but for his country friendship with India is most important.
Earlier in the day, he also met President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi also announced that a new railway line will be developed which will connect India and Kathmandu during a delegation-level talk.
Prior to Oli’s visit, India had made its stance clear that Nepal may give as many dam projects to China as the country wished but India wouldn’t be in a position to buy the energy produced.
Meanwhile, speaking to ANI on Friday, Oli had made his country’s stand, vis-a-vis both India and China, clear. He said, “We have two neighbours. They (India and China) are more developed and advanced than us. They (India and China) are also bigger than us, both in terms of size and population. We are geographically located in the centre. We will work with the neighbours for ensuring development and stability.” On being asked about why he had chosen India over China for his maiden foreign visit after assuming the post in February, Oli added, “India invited me and so I visited India.”
Prime Minister Oli’s visit is being seen as a step forward in the ties between India and its neighbour. In an interview to The Times of India, Oli had expressed concern over how Nepal’s trade deficit with India was growing. The visit might help the two nations address the issue.