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Nepal hands over diplomatic note to Indian Ambassador on boundary issues

Kathmandu

Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali has conveyed Nepal’s position on boundary issues to Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra at a meeting held at Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Monday and handed over the diplomatic note in this regard.

The Foreign Minister had summoned Kwatra on Monday morning, Nepal Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The diplomatic note follows a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday objecting to India’s move of opening a road link to Lipulekh.

According to sources, the Foreign Ministry has also sought diplomatic talks to resolve boundary issues at the earliest possible dates at Foreign Secretary-level talks.

However, following a strong objection from Nepal on Friday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday said the road going through Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district “lies completely within the territory of India”.

“We have seen the press release dated May 9, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal pertaining to the inauguration of a road in India. The recently inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in the State of Uttarakhand lies completely within the territory of India,” the MEA said in a statement.

“The road follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Under the present project, the same road has been made pliable for the ease and convenience of pilgrims, locals and traders,” said the MEA.

“The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing. India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal,” added the MEA in the statement.

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had on Friday inaugurated the link road to Kailash Mansarovar yatra via video conferencing.

Nepal said it has “consistently maintained” that as per the Sugauli Treaty (1816), “all the territories east of Kali (Mahakali) river, including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh, belong to Nepal.”

Indian Defence Ministry had said the Border Road Organisation (BRO) in Uttarakhand has connected Kailash Mansarovar route to Lipulekh pass, which will provide connectivity to border villages and security forces.

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