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Ahead of minister’s India visit, Oli says issues should be settled by dialogue

Nepal Prime Minister K P Oli on Sunday said the country is determined to bring back the 370 sq-km area of Kalapani-Limpiadhura-Lipulek at the trijunction of Nepal-India and China (Tibet) under its possession through dialogue with India.

Addressing the Rastriya Sabha, the Upper House of Nepal Parliament, Oli said the issue would be raised during the Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali’s visit to India starting January 14 and hoped that the issue will be resolved peacefully through negotiation.

He said the area that has been “under possession of India during the last 58 years belongs to Nepal”. “It was under Nepal’s possession during the previous 146 years,” he said. “Some people blame me for the downslide in Nepal-India relations. Do I have to seal my lips and maintain silence on issues?” he said.

“I believe all pending issues should be settled through dialogue as I want Nepal-India relations to reach a new height, and things are moving in that direction,” he said.

Oli addressed the 59-member Upper House amid the boycott by 23 members from the rival Communist Party of Nepal in protest against the dissolution of the House of Representatives on December 20.

The issue is being fought in the Supreme Court of Nepal and Oli has asserted that the House cannot be reinstated by the court.

Oli has been criticised by his political opponents and the civil society over the dissolution of the House. “How can a Prime Minister not dissolve the House in a democracy? How is it against the Constitution?,” he asked the Rastriya Sabha.

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