India want a stable, peaceful Nepal: Manmohan Singh

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Colombo, Aug 3: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday, August 3 expressed India's commitment to supporting Nepal in its transition to democracy. Dr Singh, in bilateral meetings with former Nepalese Prime Minister G P Koirala and Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on the sidelines of the 15th SAARC Summit which concluded here, discussed India's relations with the two countries.

Mr Koirala briefed Dr Singh on the internal situation in Nepal where a democratically-elected government has been installed. Dr Singh said India wanted a stable, democratic and peaceful Nepal and expressed appreciation for transiting to democracy and conducting elections, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said.

''We are impressed by the transition so far including the conduct of the elections. We will continue to work to support Nepal in its democratic transition,'' the Prime Minister told Mr Koirala.

They also reviewed the bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction with the state of the relationship.

During the meeting with the Maldivian President, bilateral relations were reviewed and both the leaders expressed satisfaction over the relations between the two countries.

The SAARC process was also discussed. President Gayoom is the eldest statesman of SAARC and has attended every summit.

Maldives will be next chairperson of SAARC and the next summit will be held in the Maldivian capital, Male.

Yesterday, Dr Singh also met with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Bhutan's Prime Minister Jigme Thinley and Chief Advisor of the Bangladesh government, Fakhruddin Ahmad.

Dr Singh, who arrived here on August 1 for the two-day SAARC Summit on August 2-3, had met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on the day of his arrival.

UNI

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