Signalling an upswing in ties, Nepal PM K P Sharma Oli declared misunderstandings of the past few months between India and Nepal no longer exist after his meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi here on Saturday . The meeting, intended to restore normalcy in relations hit by Madhesi agitation against a new Constitution , saw the countries signing as many as nine agreements, one of which was for utilisation of $250 million grant by India for post-earthquake assistance.
Modi himself called for consensus and dialogue to resolve all issues related to Nepal's controversial Constitution which led to violent agitation by its Madhesi community lasting for months indicating the framework for engaging the Madhesi leaders. Without being prescriptive, India had repeatedly called on Nepal to make its Constitution more inclusive by addressing the grievances of the plains people.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, foreign secretary S Jaishankar said Modi had conveyed to Oli that India wanted Nepal to address these issues in a time-bound manner.
Modi said finalisation of Constitution by Nepal was a great achievement but added its success would depend on consensus and dialogue. He also said that India's security is linked to the long term stability of Nepal.
“I am confident on the basis of these principles and hrough political dialogue and by taking all sections together, you (Oli) will be able o resolve all issues relating o the Constitution satisfac orily and take Nepal forward towards the path of development and stability ,“ Modi said in his media statement. Oli said in his statement that he had come to clear all misunderstandings and had managed to do so.
Jaishankar said the “tone and tenor“ of the visit was forward-looking, adding if assurances given on addressing grievances within Nepal were not fulfilled, it would “detract“ the country from stability. “This was not a recriminatory visit. This was a forward-looking visit It was a visit in a cooperative sense,“ he said, when asked if India was satisfied with Ne pal's assurances.
On whether India was worried about Nepal getting closer to China, Jaishankar rejected such apprehensions saying the word China did not come up in the talks.
The agreements signed include those for improving of road infrastructure in Nepal's Terai area, cultural cooperation, transit between Nepal and Bagladesh through Kakarbitta-Banglabandh corridor, operationalisation of Vishakapatnam port and rail transport to and from Vishakapatnam.
The visit of Oli, who arrived here on Friday , is the firs bilateral visit by a Prime Minister from the Himalayan nation since 2011 when Baburam Bhattarai visited India.