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Ties with India based on mutual respect: Nepal PM

By Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
July 28, 2009 16:49 IST
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Nepal attaches 'great importance' to its relations with India which are based on mutual respect, goodwill, understanding and cooperation, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has said.

"We have very extensive, close and cordial relations with India at people's level as well," the Prime Minister said, addressing a function organised by the Council of World Affairs, Nepal. He said the Himalayan country attached great importance to its relations with its immediate neighbours India and China.

"Our relations with our northern neighbour China have been equally cooperative, close and cordial," he pointed out. "Friendship with all and enmity with none, is the fundamental basis of our relationships," Nepal added.

The Premier said the foreign policy of Nepal is based on the principles of the United Nations Charter, Panchsheel, non-alignment, international cooperation and peace.

"The main objective of our foreign policy is to preserve our national sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence," he said.

Nepal said his government will accord priority to trade, tourism and foreign employment as key features of its foreign policy. He said Nepal's role in promoting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation agenda and its participation in other international forums like NAM will give the country an opportunity to popularise its own agenda of development, peace and democracy.

In order to enhance its relations with other countries of the world, Nepal will soon open its embassies in Canada, South Africa, Kuwait and Brazil, the Prime Minister said. He said his government will try to build national consensus on key issues and forge long-term understanding and trust among major parties in order to establish lasting peace and to draft Constitution, institutionalise democracy and achieve the long-cherished goal of economic development.

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Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
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