COVID vaccine supply, border issues discussed during FM's India visit


Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, who returned from his three-day India visit today, said that he sought supply of COVID-19 vaccines for essential sectors and India had kept Nepal on priority for supplying the vaccines.

Talking to mediapersons upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Minister Gyawali said he met Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed defence cooperation and boundary issues.

In response to a journalist’s query, Gyawali said he brought up the boundary issue with Singh, who said the Indian side was ready to discuss those issues. “We all know what India’s position is on this issue. We have not reached agreement on the issue, but the good thing is we have agreed to settle the remaining segments of border issue as soon as possible,”

Gyawali said when asked if he raised the map issue.

Nepal recently amended its constitution to incorporate Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipu Lekh in the country’s map. India has administrative and political control over these territories and claims them as its own.

Gyawali also said Nepal and India had agreed to gradually open the air and land routes that remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gyawali, who had gone to New Delhi on Thursday, had led the Nepali delegation in the sixth Joint Commission meeting.

The Indian side was led by Indian Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar.

Gyawali said Nepal and India also agreed to expedite the field location survey related to the Raxaul-Kathmandu Railway line.

According to a press release, Indian Defence Minister Singh told Gyawali that India-Nepal relations were underpinned by unique people-to-people linkages.

Singh conveyed his personal connect, long association with leadership and special regard for the people of Nepal. Both the dignitaries expressed satisfaction at the excellent military-to-military cooperation.

Singh stated that India was ready to provide Humanitarian assistance and Disaster Relief training and capacity building to Nepal.

Singh stated that India was looking forward to further deepening and strengthening the special relationship between the two countries.