India offers support to strengthen democracy in Nepal
New Delhi: India on Tuesday offered its support to strengthen democracy in Nepal where elections are likely November this year.
This was conveyed by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to visiting Nepal`s Maoist party chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.
Khurshid said India would like to see Nepal move towards the polls later this year.
Prachanda is on a visit to India to seek its support on many issues including conducting of Constituent Assembly elections to draft a new constitution.
After a luncheon meeting with Prachanda, who is chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist(UCPN-M), Khurshid said the Maoist Chief was "very friendly, open, very communicative and very positive in the context of India-Nepal relationship."
Prachanda is known for his anti-India rhetoric after his removal from power following a tussle with President Ram Baran Yadav over the issue of sacking the then Army chief Rukmangad Katuwal.
"I met him today. I would only say that we had a very useful conversation over lunch today....I think his views have evolved in a very positive way for us for India. I am hopeful of very very meaningful relationship with Nepal," Khurshid said.
"I think, we have all conveyed to him that we are all committed and we would like to see Nepal move towards the election likely November. We support strengthening of democracy in Nepal and we would participate fully with democratic Nepal...," the External Affairs Minister said.
He expressed hope that both the nations would be able to fulfil "dreams" that the two sides shared.
Khurshid evaded question as to whether India would agree with the Maoist chief`s offer that Nepal can act as a bridge between India and China.
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