Former Indian Foreign Secy Shringla highlights India's strategic engagement with neighboring Nepal

Published On: April 18, 2024 12:27 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 18: Former Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, has underscored the importance of India's strategic relations with neighboring countries, particularly highlighting the ongoing electricity cooperation with Nepal.

This comes at a crucial time when India is aiming to strengthen ties through various regional initiatives and infrastructural projects.

Speaking about India's regional diplomacy, Shringla emphasized that 50% of India’s line of credit has been directed towards its neighborhood, showcasing a strong commitment to regional cooperation and development. This approach not only enhances bilateral ties but also supports the economic growth and stability of neighboring countries.

With respect to Nepal, the cooperation extends significantly in the realm of electricity. India and Nepal have been working on various cross-border electricity transmission projects that not only ensure energy security for Nepal but also stabilize the grid on both sides. Shringla added that the cooperation is expected to flourish further, benefiting both nations through sustainable energy solutions and economic integration.

His discussion in a recent episode of the "Podcast with Pratim" also touched upon broader geopolitical shifts and India’s vision of a multipolar world where it sees itself as one of the influential poles. Shringla highlighted India's efforts to ensure security of maritime trade routes in the Indian Ocean, stressing the importance of robust participation in global security matters.

India’s engagement with its neighbors comes as part of the broader 'Neighbourhood First' policy, which aims to prioritize immediate neighbors in foreign policy. The strategy includes boosting trade, streamlining export policies, and enhancing energy cooperation.

Shringla's comments also came amidst the backdrop of other regional engagements, such as the exemption of neighbors from recent bans on onion exports, which reflects India's considerate approach towards its trade policies affecting the region.

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