Nepal takes neutral stance over China's OBOR

ANI | Updated: Apr 07, 2018 13:18 IST

New Delhi [India], April 7 (ANI): Nepal's Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has maintained neutrality on China's One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR).

While clarifying India's apprehensions regarding Nepal's participation in OBOR, Prime Minister Oli told ANI, "I think we are neutral. Geographically, we are in [the] center between two countries."

"We have two friendly neighbours and have a very friendly relationship with both of them. They are more developed and more advanced than us. Also, they are bigger in size and population as well. So, we want to take the opportunity to walk together with both of our neighbours. A feeling of understanding, cooperation and mutual trust is necessary."

On being asked as to why he chose India over China for his maiden foreign visit after assuming the post in February, Prime Minister Oli said, "India invited me and so I visited India."

Further, he said that friendship was more important than signing agreements. These comments came ahead of the delegation-level talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Saturday.

Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who is on a three-day visit to India, met President Ram Nath Kovind here on Saturday.

The visiting dignitary was given a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The Nepalese Prime Minister underscored the significance of friendship at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, saying, "Friendship is most important and there is no comparison with friendship. Any treaty any agreement, everything starts with friendship. With our neighbours, particularly with India, we first expect friendship."

Nepal's Prime Minister Oli also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also laid a wreath at Mahatma Gandhi's samadhi Raj Ghat.

Further, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj will have a detailed discussion with Prime Minister Oli at Rashtrapati Bhawan regarding the foreign policy and related issues.

He is also scheduled to hold discussions with the delegation-level officers of India at the Hyderabad House. Some of the important development projects will be inaugurated at the House followed by an interaction with the press.

Later in the day, Prime Minister Oli will meet Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu at his house at 6, Maulana Azad Road.

Finally, in the evening, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will hold a talk with Nepal's Prime Minister at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Prime Minister Oli is accompanied by his wife Radhika Shakya and an entourage of ministers, Members of Parliament (MPs), secretaries and other high-ranking officials of the Nepal Government on his maiden visit to India.(ANI)