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'Completely within Indian territory': MEA on Nepal's objection to 'link road' to Kailash Mansarovar

ANI | Updated: May 09, 2020 22:48 IST

New Delhi [India], May 9 (ANI): After Nepal strongly objected to the new link road from India to China which was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday said the road going through Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district "lies completely within the territory of India".
"We have seen the Press Release dated May 9, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal pertaining to the inauguration of a road in India. The recently inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in the State of Uttarakhand lies completely within the territory of India," the MEA said in a statement.
"The road follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Under the present project, the same road has been made pliable for the ease and convenience of pilgrims, locals and traders," it said while adding that "the boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing. India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal."
The foreign ministry said that both sides are also in the process of scheduling Foreign Secretary-level talks which will be held once the dates are finalised between the two sides after the two societies and governments have successfully dealt with the challenge of COVID 19 emergency.
Earlier, Nepal's Foreign Ministry had objected to the inauguration of the 'Link Road' to Kailash Mansarovar yatra by India, terming it "unilateral act" that runs against the understanding reached between the two countries.
"The Government of Nepal has learnt with regret about the 'inauguration' yesterday by India of 'Link Road' connecting to Lipu Lekh (Nepal), which passes through Nepali territory," Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nepal said in a release.
India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had on Friday inaugurated the Link Road to Kailash Mansarovar yatra via video conferencing.
Nepal said it has "consistently maintained" that as per the Sugauli Treaty (1816), "all the territories east of Kali (Mahakali) River, including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh, belong to Nepal."
Indian Defence Ministry had said the Border Road Organisation (BRO) in Uttarakhand has connected Kailash Mansarovar route to Lipulekh pass, which will provide connectivity to border villages and security forces.
"Border Roads Organisation connects Kailash Mansarovar Route to China Border. While combating COVID-19 pandemic, BRO in Uttarakhand has connected Kailash Mansarovar route to Lipulekh pass at a ht of 17,060 ft; thus providing connectivity to border villages and security forces," the Ministry had tweeted. (ANI)

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