India hopeful of Nepal forging consensus on multi-party democracy: Prez

NEW DELHI
19 Apr 2017

India is hopeful that Nepal will be able to forge consensus through dialogue in its quest for peace, stability and multi-party democracy taking all the sections of its society on board, President Pranab Mukherjee said here. In his banquet speech in the honour of visiting Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Mukherjee said India has an abiding interest in the socio-economic development of Nepal. He said Nepal is passing through a crucial phase in its quest for peace, stability and multi-party democracy with the aim of consolidating the gains of democracy and achieving economic prosperity. "India lauds the enterprise and achievements of the people of Nepal. Their wisdom and resilience will, no doubt, succeed in forging consensus through dialogue and understanding so as to achieve their objectives within a federal and democratic framework, taking all sections of their society on board," Mukherjee said. The Himalayan nation is witnessing strong opposition of the Indian-origin Madhesi people on the implementation of the new Constitution. The Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community. Bhandari is on her first State visit after taking over as the President of Nepal. Mukherjee said India is happy that Nepal is engaged in the important task of implementing the Constitution and pursuing a progressive and inclusive political agenda. The President said India deeply values its historical and traditionally close relations with Nepal. He said the long shared open border and national treatment of each other reflect a closeness that few other countries share. "We believe that the prosperity, security and welfare of our two nations are inter-linked and inter-dependent. India is committed to extending all possible support in accordance with the priorities of the people and Government of Nepal," Mukherjee said in his banquet speech last evening. He said the close bonds of kinship and cooperation between India and Nepal are defined by geography and enriched by common culture and history. The President said age-old fraternal relations between the two nations have been nurtured by successive governments and leaders in both India and Nepal into a dynamic and enriching partnership. "We consider it natural and logical that as neighbours with a unique and exemplary relationship, both nations should continuously build on our many complementarities, explore all opportunities and pursue new avenues of cooperation to our mutual benefit," he said. The President said both our peoples are opposed to the menace of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. "Development and progress are of utmost importance to us. Towards our common goals, we have been cooperating closely, to very successful outcomes," Mukherjee said. He said the visit of Nepal's President has provided an opportunity to reaffirm special relationship between the two countries and to identify ways and means of further enriching multifaceted partnership between them. "She will find one clear and consistent message of India's unequivocal commitment to bilateral cooperation and friendship with Nepal. India also seeks to advance our common interests through regional and sub-regional cooperation based on respect and sensitivity to each other's interests and concerns," he said.(PTI)