Krishna meets Bhattarai, backs consensus in Nepal

Friday, January 7, 2011

NEW DELHI - External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Friday met Baburam Bhattarai, vice-chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), and conveyed that India backed a “broad consensus” for expediting the political process for drafting the constitution in the Himalayan state.

Nepal is a friendly country. We want a broad consensus for a political process there so that they would be in a position to write the Constitution, Krishna told reporters here.

India is certainly keeping close contact with Nepal because of our civilisational and historical ties with that country. We wish them well, he added.

As a close and friendly neighbour, India remains committed to the successful completion of the peace process and establishment of multi-party democracy in Nepal, he said.

The Maoist leader is understood to have also met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao since he arrived here Wednesday on a three-day visit.

Bhattarai conveyed his assessment of the deepening political crisis in Nepal and sought to clear misunderstandings with Indian leaders amid a perception in some Maoist circles in Nepal that New Delhi played a role in undermining the previous Maoist government.

That is the general perception. Maybe the Indian side had more expectations, and we did not fulfil it, Bhattarai said in an interview here when asked if India had played a role in keeping the Maoists out of power.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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