New Delhi: India is ready to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training and capacity building to Nepal as both countries make attempts to improve strained bilateral relations.
The decision on providing assistance and training was taken during Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali's meeting with Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Saturday. Singh stated that India is looking forward for further deepening and strengthening the special relationship between both countries.
The Nepal Foreign Minister is in India for the sixth India-Nepal Joint Commission Meeting. During his interaction with Singh, Gyawali conveyed his greetings from the leadership of Nepal, and expressed his desire to deepen bilateral relations. He also expressed thanks for all the assistance provided by India.
Singh reciprocated the sentiments and emphasised that India-Nepal relations are underpinned by unique people-to-people linkages. He conveyed his personal connect, long association with leadership and special regard for the people of Nepal. Both the dignitaries expressed their satisfaction at the excellent military-to-military cooperation.
The Nepal Foreign Minister congratulated India on success in developing the COVID vaccine and expressed confidence that the COVID pandemic will be overcome soon. The ties between the two countries came under strain after China increased its influence in Nepal.
Further, it was India's road construction in the Lipulekh area at 17,000 feet that had sparked a diplomatic row between India and Nepal as Kathmandu claimed the area to be in its territory. The road was constructed to shorten the travel time for pilgrims visiting the Kailash Mansarovar. Lipulekh is a tri-junction between India, Nepal and China situated atop the Kalapani Valley in Uttarakhand.
After this, Nepal brought out a new political map showing the contested area as its own. India has rejected this new map of Nepal saying it is not based on historical facts or evidence. To strengthen the bilateral relationship, Research and Analysis Wing (RA&W) chief Samant Kumar Goel and Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane made a visit to Kathmandu last year and met Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and several other Nepalese leaders. (IANS)