KATHMANDU, May 29: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said that the Nepal government is awaiting dates for holding talks with India on the border-related issues.
Speaking at the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee, the foreign minister also reiterated Nepal’s stance to resolve the boundary-related issues with India through diplomatic dialogue.
The parliament committee invited Gyawali on Friday afternoon to discuss the boundary row on the heels of India’s unilateral move of opening a strategic road link to Tibetan Autonomous Region of China via Lipu Lekh, a Nepali territory which lies on the north western frontier with China.
As India announced that it had opened a road link to Lipu Lekh on May 6, Nepal strongly opposed the move and called for halting the unilateral action on the Nepali territory.
In a press statement on May 9, Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) stated that the Nepal government has “learnt with regret about the inauguration yesterday by India of a ‘Link Road’ connecting to Lipulekh (Nepal)”. "In the light of this development, the Government of Nepal called upon the Government of India to refrain from carrying out any activity inside the territory of Nepal," the ministry said.
As of today, India has claimed that Lipu Lekh lies in the Indian territory.
At a press conference, Indian External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday, "On the recent developments on the boundary issue, we continue to monitor the situation in Nepal. We note that this matter is receiving careful consideration in Nepal, taking its seriousness into account. India is open to engaging with all its neighbors on the basis of mutual sensitivity and mutual respect, in an environment of trust and confidence. This is a continuous process and requires constructive and positive efforts."
The Indian unilateral road inauguration came six months after India's Home Ministry placed Kalapani, a Nepali territory, within Indian borders in a map released in line with New Delhi’s decision to repeal the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir and split up the two into two federal territories.
Following that incident, Nepal had sought dates for holding talks by sending diplomatic notes. However, India did not respond to Nepal's calls.