KATHMANDU: Amid the long-running India-China military face-off in Doklam plateau, Nepal will not get “influenced” either by India or China and “get dragged” into their border dispute, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara said on Monday.
“Our policy on boundary dispute between India and China is clear,” he said during a press briefing.
This is the first time that Nepal made its position clear on the two-month long military standoff between India and China in the Doklam plateau.
Nepal also told its embassies in New Delhi and Beijing to send similar messages to both the Asian nuclear powers that Nepal does not take any side and will maintain an independent position on the issue.
“We have urged both sides to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner. We don’t want to see a war between them.” Mahara did not give a clear answer but admitted having met the ambassadors from India and China recently. He did not divulge what the ambassadors told him though the issue of Doklam figured prominently in the meetings. This shows that both neighbours have asked Nepal to stand on their side.
Mahara said that Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s upcoming visit to India and the arrival of Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang to Nepal on August 14 have nothing to do with the Doklam tow. The PM is embarking on a state visit to India on August 23.
Asked if Nepal is under pressure from India and China to take a side, he said Nepal was free to take its decision.
– By Anil Giri for TKP