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Asserting that his recent India visit had helped highlight issues of common interests and prosperity, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' on Wednesday said the Himalayan nation had a special place in the BRICS grouping.
Nepal raised the issue of energy development, regional contact network and expansion of people-to-people contacts, the Prime Minister said in an address to Parliament two days after returning home from attending the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit Conference held in Goa, in India, on October 16-17.
He informed the House about his meetings with BRICS and BIMSTEC leaders on the sidelines of the Outreach Summit Conference and issues that Nepal raised during the meeting.
BRICS is an association of five major emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international grouping involving Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
Dahal said he took up the issue of increasing people-to-people contacts between Nepal and India, development of energy and expansion of regional connectivity.
Observing that Nepal's presence at the BRICS Summit was important, he said his recent India visit had given a fillip to common interests and prosperity of the Himalayan nation.
"Efforts have been made to strengthen bilateral relations with India while maintaining high-level diplomatic norms. These relations will be strengthened, keeping uppermost the welfare of Nepal and Nepalis," the Prime Minister said.
Likewise, he said, India and China were positive to his proposal concerning trilateral cooperation and partnership.
Referring to his meeting with China's President Xi Jinping, which India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi too joined at one stage, Dahal said: "That meeting was a pleasant coincidence and a good opportunity. It also contributed to helping maintain balanced relations with both neighbours."
(Anil Giri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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