Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla has assured Kathmandu on the covid vaccine even as both sides have agreed to “advance cooperation” in several areas. FS’s visit is currently on a 2 day Nepal visit, 3rd major in-person visit from India to Nepal, after the visit of the RAW chief and Indian Army chief’s visit.
After his meeting with Nepal’s Foreign secretary Bharat Paudyal, Shringla said, “We had a very productive and useful exchange, we went through a very large number of issues of bilateral cooperation. It shows the multifaceted and comprehensive nature of our cooperation”.
During the visit, Shringla called on Nepal Foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali and Nepal PM K P Sharma Oli. He handed over 2000 vials of Remdesivir as part of New Delhi’s assistance to Nepal to deal with the COVID crisis.
Shringla assured Nepal will be a priority when it comes to vaccine saying, “we will make this vaccine accessible and affordable and it goes without saying, that first priority will be for our closest neighbors like Nepal..will put our health ministers and regulators in touch with each other to ensure that when this vaccine enters the market when this vaccine is available, Nepal will have the fullest benefit of the vaccine.”
The visit comes even as ties had deteriorated between the two countries after the Nepal government led by KP Sharma Oli issued a new map of the country. The new map showed the Indian territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura as Nepali territories, irking New Delhi.
Highlighting the “civilisational ties”, Shringla said, “bilateral relations are age-old and historic….and even during the worst period of the covid pandemic, the strict lockdown, we ensured trade, essential supplies and commodities continue to flow between our 2 countries”
It is interesting to know, Shringla when he reached Kathmandu on Thursday morning, spoke to the media in Nepali, a gesture that has not gone unnoticed and was seen positively.