MoFA says Sushma Swaraj’s comment ‘unfortunate’

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has said that its attention was drawn to the statement made by Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs of India, during her annual press conference recently.

At the press conference, Minister Swaraj had said, "Narendra Modi is the first prime minister of the country who has from America's Madison Square to Janakpur (in Nepal) addressed lakhs of Indians and reached out to them."

After Twitter users, including Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa pointed out that Indian PM Modi had addressed Nepali people in Janakpur at the civic reception and not Indians, Swaraj had publicly apologised for her statement via twitter. "This was a mistake on my part. I sincerely apologise for this."

Issuing a press statement today, MoFA said, "The reference made about the public participation at the Civic Felicitation programme held in honour of the Prime Minister of India, in Janakpur on May 11, 2018 was unfortunate."

The statement reads, it has come to the notice of the Government of Nepal that the Indian Minister has publicly admitted to her mistake and apologised for the same, and on behalf of the Government of Nepal, MoFA thanked all those who raised concerns over the issue.

MoFA further stated that social cohesion and harmony characterised the Nepali way of life, which was reflective of national unity among people living in all regions, and encouraged that this should be respected by all.