Kathmandu: Ahead of the Nepalese foreign minister’s visit to New Delhi, Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has said that his country will not compromise on sovereign equality in its engagement with either India or China.
“The area (of) Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani is the territory of Nepal, is (a) very sacred part of Nepal,” 68-year-old Oli was quoted as saying by the WION news channel.
“We are not in position to claim the territory of China or India. But we must claim our territory with our friends,” said Oli, who had triggered the border row last year after his government came out with a new political map that showed the three Indian territories as part of Nepal.
His remarks came just two days ahead of Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali’s visit to New Delhi on January 14 – the senior most political leader from Nepal to visit India after strain in bilateral ties.
Gyawali’s discussions in New Delhi will be centered on the border issue.
After Nepal released the map last year, India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and cautioning Kathmandu that such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.
India said that Nepal’s action violated an understanding reached between the two countries to resolve the boundary issues through talks.
“I believe that 2021 will be the year where we can declare there are no problems between the two countries- Nepal and India,” Oli said.
“We love our independence and freedom to decide on our internal affairs, and we don’t want any type of interference from outside, from north or south,” said Oli, referring to China and India.