Oli reiterates Nepal will get back territories from India

Kathmandu: Amid efforts to restore normalcy in bilateral relations that soured over a bitter border row, Nepal's Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli said on Sunday that he will get back the territories of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh from India.

Oli's remarks during an address to the National Assembly, or upper house, comes just days ahead of the Nepalese foreign minister's visit to New Delhi on January 14 - the senior most political leader from Nepal to visit India after strain in bilateral ties. "Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh which are located east of e Mahakali River belong to Nepal as per the Sugauli Treaty. We will get them back through diplomatic talks with India, Oli said.

"Our foreign minister will visit India on January 14 during which his discussion will be centred on the issue of the map that we have published with the inclusion of the three territories," said Oli, who had triggered the border row last year after his government came out with a new political map that showed Indian territories as part of Nepal. After Nepal released the map last year, India reacted sharply, calling it a "unilateral act" and cautioning Kathmandu that such "artificial enlargement" of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.

India said that Nepal's action violated an understanding reached between the two countries to resolve the boundary issues through talks.

The bilateral exchanges that had stalled due to the bitter boundary dispute were reset in the later part of 2020 with a series of high-level visits, as New Delhi emphasised that it sees itself as the Himalayan nation's "foremost friend" and development partner.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla's maiden visit to Nepal in November was largely aimed at resetting bilateral ties. Shringla met Prime Minister Oli and other top political brass and emphasised that India and Nepal are on the same page and share the same vision. Shringla's trip followed earlier ones by Indian Army chief Gen. MM Naravane, and a whirlwind tour by Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief Samant Kumar Goel to Kathmandu in a bid to mend ties.

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