Oli ‘eager to work with Indian government’

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Jan 30, 2018-

In a bid to reach out to the Indian establishment ahead of government formation, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, who is widely seen as the new prime minister, has written to Indian PM Narendra Modi saying that he was eager to work with the Indian government.

Oli, who skipped the Republic Day function organised inside the Indian Embassy on January 26, wrote a letter to Modi to congratulate the Indian people on their day. Oli, however, attended a cultural event organised by the embassy at the Army Officers’ Club next evening.

“As one of the recently elected people’s representatives and leader of the largest party in the federal parliament, I’m eager to work together with Excellency and your government for the betterment of our two countries,” Oli said in the letter dispatched to Modi.

“On this happy occasion, I take an opportunity to extend my best wishes for every success and I expect closer cooperation between our two countries and people,” he wrote.

The correspondence clearly shows that Oli wants to renew his relations with India on a new basis as some UML leaders have publicly said that a “thaw in relations between Oli and the Indian establishment” is near.

Relations between Oli and the Indian establishment are often described as “patchy” and “acrimonious” where Oli has been a vocal critic of New Delhi’s policy on Nepal particularly after his government was toppled in July 2016.

Oli opposed the Indian blockade of Nepal in September 2015 and won the recent elections on the plank of ‘nationalism’ with a promise to maintain “balanced” relations between immediate neighbours India and China.

“Our leadership has been writing to the heads of state and governments of major powers through their respective diplomatic missions during such important occasions,” said UML leader Rajan Bhattarai. “In this context, our chairman wrote to Modi congratulating him on India’s Republic Day.”

“We are clear that the status and course of Nepal-India relations should be changed,” said Bhattarai, who is also a member of the Nepal-India Eminent Persons Group formed to review and suggest changes on bilateral relations and treaties. “It should move ahead with new vigour, energy and direction.”

“I’m delighted to note that we are learning by your experience and are in a process to implement our constitution. As the first step towards this direction, we have nearly completed elections of all three levels,” Oli said in the letter.

Foreign policy not to be based on old practices

Kathmandu: CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, who is tipped to be the new prime minister, has hinted at changing Nepal’s relations with immediate neighbours India and China on the basis of necessity and new principles instead of the past practices. Speaking at a programme organised to felicitate the newly elected Nepal Chamber of Commerce working committee at the party’s central office in Dhumbarahi on Monday, Oli said there should be a departure from colonial-era foreign relations practices in today’s world with respect for sovereignty of independent states, the Rastriya Samachar Samiti reported.

Calling on the Nepalis to feel proud of their independence and sovereignty, Oli stressed that the modern era is of co-existence among all states, big or small in size, as per the United Nations charter.

Published: 30-01-2018 08:14

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