Oli, Bhattarai object to PM's 'trilateral meeting' claim

KATHMANDU: The Prime Minister's Secretariat's claim that PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal held a trilateral meeting with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping together has drawn mixed response here.

The claim has been criticised among political parties here as they viewed that it was a breach of diplomatic etiquette on the Secretariat's part.

Former PM and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli told journalists at the party headquarters today that the PM Secretariat's claim was unceremonious, baseless and against the diplomatic etiquette.

He further commented that just seeing someone at some place could not be called a proper meeting.

Likewise,  Dahal's former comrade and Naya Shakti Nepal Coordinator Baburam Bhattarai has left a sarcastic comment on his Twitter, quoting French philosopher Voltaire, "May God protect me from my friends."

"The nation's international image has already been at the bottom," he added, "Let us not degrade it further."

Meanwhile, both the Indian and the Nepali governments have also clarified that it was not a trilateral meeting, but just a coincidence.

The PM's Secretariat, however, had issued the statement on Saturday night, claiming it was a trilateral meeting among top leaders of three neighbours.

PM's latest response

Meanwhile, PM Dahal, upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport today, said it was an unplanned meeting and just a positive, but rare, coincidence which had taken place while he was waiting to return to his hotel.

Issues pertaining to Nepal’s peace process and trilateral cooperation were discussed in the meeting, which lasted for around 20 minutes, he added.

“I stressed that the trilateral cooperation among us would help Nepal get benefits from your economic growth and development,” he informed.