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India is Nepal’s ‘elder brother,’ not ‘big brother’: Swaraj

India is Nepal’s ‘elder brother,’ not ‘big brother’: Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India will always assist its neighbour and never become a source of difficulties.

Swaraj emphasised on the age-old ties between the two countries to make her point and repeatedly praised the Nepalese political leadership and Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli for having promulgated the new Constitution.

“I congratulate their (Nepal’s) political leadership for showing maturity in difficult circumstances (post earthquake).

They said that it was time to create the Constitution all the more and the political leadership came together and did so,” Swaraj said.

“But few issues cropped up. Madhesis thought they have received less than expected political representation. But I want to reiterate my gratitude to the Nepali political leadership that taking their (Madhesis’) demand as legitimate they passed two amendments under the leadership of Sushil Koirala. Swaraj said the Oli government “bettered” those amendments and passed them. Otherwise amendments are not brought soon after promulgation of a Constitution, she said.

She hoped that the “political mechanism” put in place by Oli will address the remaining concerns of the Madhesi community and praised him for engaging them in a dialogue.

“This is the power of democracy that we resolve our issues through political dialogue.” 

 On his part, Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli said his country does not play India or China “card” and there is “no question” of favouring one over the other as it is not a viable “policy option”.

“Misunderstandings” between India and Nepal “do not” persist anymore, Oli said, terming it as the “most important” outcome of his first visit to India after assuming office in last October.

He made the remarks while delivering the 21st Sapru House Lecture of the Indian Council of World Affairs here which was presided over by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and attended by top members of the visiting Nepalese delegation.

“The main mission of my coming to India was to clear misunderstanding and apprehensions that surfaced in the past few months following the promulgation of the Constitution. In my meetings with President, Vice President, Prime Minister and all other leaders I tried to clarify what we did in the past few months, what our intentions were and how we want to advance as a nation.
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