Economic development of Nepal in larger interest of India, China: Prachanda

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Visiting India after four years, Nepal’s former prime minister and Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ Monday stressed on pushing forward economic development of his country which he said was in in the larger interest of both India and China.

The Maoist leader, who is on a four-day visit to India that has been described by Nepalese media as a sign of “thaw” in his ties with India, also floated his “vision” of a trilateral cooperation between India, China and Nepal, which he said “was not a distant dream”.

“Nepal cannot and should not remain poor and backward,” said Prachanda, giving a talk on “India-Nepal Relations: Vision for the next Decade” at the Indian Council of World Affairs, here, adding “economic development of Nepal is in the larger interest of India and China” which will herald political stability and contribute to regional peace and security.

“Nepal-India relations is based on peaceful coexistence and understanding the aspirations and interests of each other, ” Prachanda, who last visited India in 2008 as prime minister said. He also said Nepal “is very much aware of India’s security concerns and it adopts a firm policy of not allowing any activity against its friendly neighbour from its soil “.

Floating his proposal of trilateral cooperation between the three “friendly” regional neighbours, Prachanda said this was very much a possibility in the changed global and regional context.

Prachanda stressed that the tripartite partnership would in “no way undermine or replace our bilateral relations that have been there for centuries.”

He said his visit this time is to find ways to take bilateral relations forward.

Prachanda is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday before heading back to Kathmandu.

Asked if he would broach the topic of trilateral partnership with the Indian prime minister, Prachanda told IANS: “It is a vision which is still in the making” and he would stress on taking forward bilateral relations during his talks with Indian leaders.

Prior to his India visit, Prachanda visited China April 14-20 where he had stressed on the need for increased economic cooperation between China and Nepal and also floated the proposal of strategic tripartite partnership”.

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