KATHMANDU: Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a trilateral meeting in Goa of India on the sidelines of BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit on Saturday.
Expressing Nepal's desire to become a "dynamic bridge" between India and China and reap benefit from it, Dahal, in the informal meeting, floated a proposal for "trilateral strategic partnership" among the three countries, according to a statement issued by his secretariat on the Prime Minister's personal website.
Modi and Xi acknowledged the proposal as significant and said they were positive towards Nepal's proposal on the trilateral strategic partnership, the statement published this morning claimed.
PM Dahal, who reached Goa to attend the BRICS Summit, first held a one-on-one meeting with Chinese President Xi which lasted for around 20 minutes. Indian PM Modi later joined them and the three discussed issues of common interests, according to the website.
Prime Minister Dahal's son Prakash, who is also his personal secretary, made photographs of the meeting public on Facebook and wrote that both the meeting with Xi and Modi's arrival at the site were coincidental.
During the meeting, the statement on Dahal's website said, the Nepali Prime Minister reminded the duo of his emphasis on strategic partnership among the three countries during his first term as Nepal's executive head.
"We are located between two giant countries. We want to become a dynamic bridge between the two countries and reap the benefit," the statement quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
"During the meeting, I put forth the issue of strategic partnership with emphasis," Dahal said, "The Indian Prime Minister and Chinese President said Nepal's proposal on strategic partnership is significant and they agreed to it.
Mentioning that Buddha, Pashupatinath and Janaki connected Nepal, India and China
In response, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the size of the country did not bear much significance and Nepal could become a bridge between India and China, the statement added.
Acknowledging Nepal's proposal on trilateral partnership as an important matter, Xi said China was positive towards it and praised Nepal for making efforts to keep Indian and China at equidistance, according to the statement. Xi expressed his belief that relationship among the three countries would be strengthened further in the days to come.
Saying the three countries shared geographical, emotional and cultural friendship, Indian Prime Minister Modi said India was positive towards Nepal's proposal on trilateral partnership.
After the meeting, Prime Minister Dahal expressed his hope that the trilateral meeting could play a significant role in setting up an epochal relationship between Nepal, India and China.
With reference to the seating of three leaders during the meeting, Dahal has been quoted as saying, "During the meeting Nepal was seated between India and China the way Nepal lies between India and China."
Nepal's first lady Sita Dahal was also present on the occasion.
Nepal along with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand is member of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).