Nepal to maintain 'equal proximity' with India, China

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Patna, Apr 26 (UNI) The proposed coalition government in Nepal will maintain 'equi-proximity' in foreign relations with both India and China following the transition of power, slightly deviating from its age-old stand but without affecting the present ''close and cordial bilateral relations'' with them.

This was announced here today by Mr C P Gajurel, senior Polit Bureau member of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the largest party in the just concluded general elections.

Mr Gajurel was addressing the opening ceremony of a two-day national seminar on ''Emerging Trends in India-Nepal Relations''.

The seminar, organised by the External Affairs Ministry along with the Bihar government, was being participated by a 54-member Nepalese delegation led by Physical Planning and Works minister Hisila Yami, Nepalese Ambassador to India Durgesh Mansingh and other political leaders.

Among the Indian participants were, Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh, former minister of state for External Affairs Digvijay Singh, Mr Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary and now Special Envoy of the Prime Minister, former Indian Ambassador to Nepal Deb Mukherjee and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Reiterating that Nepal would continue to maintain a 'close and affectionate' relation with India after the new coalition government assumed office, Mr Gajurel, however, agreed that 'huge changes' had already started taking place in several areas in his country.

He also stated that his party was committed to establishing a multi-party system with main emphasis on socio-economic developments in all fields.

However, in terms of formulating a new foreign policy, the fundamental requisite would be based on the theory of 'Panchasil', aimed at peaceful co-existance and all round benefits for all, he added.

''We also prefer to maintain equal proximity with both of our super neighbours -India and China- without affecting the present cordial relations,'' Mr Gajurel said but at the same time called for a review of the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty for its 'suitable upgradation'.

''We are also against playing the China card on India and vice-versa for the same reason of peaceful co-existance of all our immediate neighbours,'' the CPN(Maoist) leader said.

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