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India sees itself as Nepal”s ”foremost friend and development partner”, says Shringla

By Outlook

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday said India and Nepal are on the same page and share the same vision as he underlined that New Delhi sees itself as Nepal”s “foremost friend and development partner” in this country”s quest for economic and social development.

Shringla is here on a two-day maiden visit to Nepal at the invitation of Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal, amid a strain in bilateral ties following a bitter border row.

Delivering a talk hosted by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs – a Kathmandu-based non-partisan foreign policy think-tank, Shringla said the relation between Nepal and India is “intricate” and they share the same geography, civilisational heritage, culture and customs.

“India sees itself as Nepal”s foremost friend and development partner,” Shringla said in his nearly 25-minute long speech. “Our aspiration of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ and your goal of ‘Samriddh Nepal, Sukhi Nepali’ are entirely compatible.”

Noting that recent years have given the relationship a new momentum, the foreign secretary said, “For India, Nepal is fundamental to our ‘Neighbourhood First’ approach.”

“India’s development and modernisation are incomplete and intrinsically and symbiotically linked to the development and modernisation of neighbouring countries such as Nepal,” he said.

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