Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said on Monday that the main mission of his India visit was to clear the misunderstandings and apprehensions that had crept into the bilateral ties.
Delivering the 21st Sapru House Lecture of the Indian Council of World Affairs here, chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Oli also said his country does not play the India or China "card".
“The main mission of my visit was to clear misunderstanding and apprehensions that surfaced in the past few months following the promulgation of the Constitution. In my meetings with the President, Vice President, Prime Minister and all other leaders I tried to clarify what we did in the past few months, what our intentions were and how we want to advance as a nation,” said Oli, who arrived in India on Friday.
"Having exchanged views with them I am convinced that whatever misunderstanding was there does not persist anymore. This, in my view, is the most important outcome of my visit," Oli said.
Oli stressed on the need for strengthening the bilateral relationship.
“Our past as well as our future is linked,” Oli said, defining the relationship as “sovereign fraternity”.
“We must trust each other and respect each other,” he added.
On relations with northern neighbour China, Oli said there was no "basis" to the perception that Nepal "uses this or that card".
"There is no question about aligning with the one or the other. We cannot do it and it is not a viable policy option either. As neighbours we continue to have good relations with both and one is not comparable to the other," he said.
Oli said that the Constitution-making process in Nepal was “inclusive” and progressive and minus any discrimination.
He, however, maintained that the Constitution may not have satisfied all sections.
He said "intermittent" issues between the two countries "should not lead us" to actions that are unwarranted and impact people’s daily lives adversely — in a tacit reference to the over five-month border blockade by the Madhesi protesters who are demanding more rights and privileges under the new Constitution.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, addressing the gathering, lauded Nepal&’s political leadership on the new Constitution and also praised the leadership for coming out with the two amendments.
She said the amendments meet some of the aspirations of the Madhesi community.
Oli, who celebrated his 65th birthday on Monday, was extended greetings by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj.
According to reports, Modi conveyed the wishes via India&’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik who met the Nepal prime minister.