Manmohan Singh congratulates new PM of Nepal

New Delhi, Feb 4 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has congratulated Jhalanath Khanal on his election as Nepal's new Prime Minister.

Dr. Singh spoke to Prime Minister Khanal last evening to convey his felicitations.

Dr. Singh has also written to Prime Minister-elect Khanal to convey his heartiest congratulations on latter's election as the Prime Minister of Nepal, noting that his 'election to this high office comes at a critical juncture of Nepal's history'.

He also offered his best wishes to Prime Minister Khanal to 'build upon and consolidate the gains of democracy that have been achieved by the people of Nepal'.

Prime Minister stated that India attached the highest importance to its relations with Nepal, which was a close neighbour. He referred to the multifaceted bilateral relationship that cut across a wide range of sectors, The Ministry of External Affairs reports.

"I have always held the belief that the potential for our cooperation is vast. India stands ready to partner Nepal to exploit this potential to its fullest on the basis of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit'," said Dr. Singh in his letter.

Nepal's Parliament has elected CPN (UML) chairman Jhalanath Khanal as the 34th Prime Minister, ending the six-month long stalemate.

The breakthrough came after opposition Unified CPN (Maoist) withdrew its Chairman Prachanda from the electoral race and decided to vote for Khanal.

He secured 368 votes, more than the simple majority required in the 601-member House, while his immediate rival Ram Chandra Poudel of Nepali Congress got 122 votes. (ANI)

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