After months of rancour over a territorial dispute, India and Nepal Thursday took a significant step towards normalisation of bilateral ties in the form of foreign secretary Harsh Shringla’s visit to Kathmandu that saw the 2 sides agreeing that, as official sources said, it was important to respect each other’s sensitivities.
India and Nepal discussed all aspects of the relationship including trade, investment and connectivity, apart from the Kalapani border issue that was raised by Nepal.
Significantly, as sources here said, both sides felt India and Nepal should focus on the positives of the wide-ranging relationship. One reason why India delayed engagement between the foreign secretaries, apart from the pandemic, was Nepal’s sledgehammer approach to the sensitive Kalapani border issue that saw the K P Sharma Oli government issuing a new Nepal map and hurriedly ensuring its endorsement by Parliament.
Nepal alluded to discussions on the Kalapani and Susta territorial disputes in its official statement as it said that Shringla and his counterpart Bharat Paudyal spoke about boundary matters and exchanged views on completing the “boundary work in the remaining segments”.
“Both sides shared their perspectives on boundary matters and discussed ways to take it forward under the appropriate bilateral mechanisms,” said an Indian government source.