India said it is positive about recent developments in the Sino-Nepali relationship.

Indicating that it is comfortable with Nepal’s close relationship with its northern neighbour China, India has said it is positive about recent developments in the Sino-Nepali relationship.

The view was expressed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his meeting with Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The Indian views have emerged a few days after Nepal signed different agreements with China during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Kathmandu last Saturday. During the visit, Wen had advised his Nepali counterpart to have a cordial relationship with India.

“I find the Indian side positive about the Chinese Premier’s recent Nepal visit. There are no negative thoughts in the Indian side regarding the deep Nepal-China relations,” Gachhadar said.

“Strengthening the relationship with both the countries (India and China) is of utmost importance for us,” he added. The 45-minute meeting with the Indian PM mainly focussed on the peace and constitution drafting processes in Nepal.

“The Indian Prime Minister extended his government’s full support to Nepal in its bid to successfully complete the twin tasks of peace and constitution writing,” Gachhadar said.

Singh also stressed on the need to intensify bilateral efforts to control activities inimical to interests of both the countries along the open borders. Gachhadar also reminded Singh about the Nepali Prime Minister’s invitation to him to visit Nepal soon.

“The Indian Prime Minister is very positive on Nepal’s request. I am confident that he will visit Nepal very soon,” Gachhadar said.

The Home Minister also held talks with Indian Defence Minister AK Antony and Indian Army Chief VK Singh separately. Assistance for the Nepal Army and strengthening relations between the armies of the two countries was discussed in those meetings.

Gachhadar, who is also the Defence Minister, requested his Indian counterpart to provide equipment like helicopters, military hardware and mine protector vehicles for the Nepal Army.

“India is positive about providing the equipment, which the Nepal Army has been requesting since long. The Indian side has also agreed to provide materials to equip the ammunition factory at Sundarijal,” Gachhadar said.

Gachhadar is scheduled to meet Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday. The Nepali side is set to request India to provide assistance to bolster Nepal’s security apparatuses, according to Gachhadar. Asked about the possibility of Nepal asking India to provide Nepal Police with arms and ammunition, Gachhadar failed to answer clearly. However, he did not deny the possibility of such a request.

Separately, in an interaction with mediapersons in New Delhi, Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said no new agreements were signed between Nepal and China during Wen’s visit. “I did not see anything dramatically new in any way,” Mathai said, adding that the agreements pertain mainly to some arrangements on the border and some economic assistance programmes. “These are like many of the programmes we are already engaged in.”

He also said Nepal did not figure in boundary talks between India and China that concluded in New Delhi on Tuesday.

In New Delhi

•    Home minister says Indian PM positive on Nepal’s request to visit the country

•    Gachhadar asks Indian defence minister to provide equipment—helicopters,

hardware, mine protector vehicles—for Nepal Army

•    Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai says nothing new in agreements signed between Nepal and China during Wen’s visit .  by ANIL GIRI, Mahesh Acharya from ekantipur

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