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Nepal-India: Bhattarai & Singh Address Each Other

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Texts of banquet speeches by Indian PM Manmohan Singh and Nepali PM Baburam Bhattarai in New Delhi.

Reply Speech by Rt. Honorable Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai, Prime Minister of Nepal at the banquet hosted in his honour

by His Excellency Dr. Man Mohan Singh, Prime Minister of India,

(New Delhi, 21 October 2011)

Your Excellency Dr. Man Mohan Singh,

Prime Minister of the Republic of India

Madam Gursharan Kaur,


Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to express my profound thanks to Your Excellency for the cordial words of friendship and warm sentiments expressed to me and to the people of Nepal. I take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks for inviting me to pay an official visit to India and for the excellent arrangements made for the visit. I also avail myself of this opportunity to express deep gratitude for the warmth of welcome with which we have been received and gracious hospitality extended to us ever since our arrival in this beautiful city of New Delhi.

We consider Your Excellency a true friend and well wisher of Nepal and a veteran politician and legendary statesman of India. You have always stood steadfast in the support to the promotion of peace and stability and consolidation of democracy in Nepal. I have brought with me warm greetings and best wishes from the people and Government of Nepal to Your Excellency and, through you, to the friendly people and Government of India.

We feel happy that sovereign equality, independence, territorial integrity, mutual respect, and pursuit of the principles of panchasheela have been the bedrock of our relations. They are nurtured by mutual understanding, trust, goodwill and neighbourliness underpinned by the deep-rooted people-to-people contacts for centuries. In addition to these time tested traits, free movement of the people reflect our close relationship. I am pleased to mention that exchange of high level visits and interactions have further cemented the friendship and co-operation between us.

We do believe that the friendly and fruitful discussions that we had today on matters of mutual interests will be a pointer to better understanding and increased cooperation between our two countries. We took stock of the progress made in realizing the decisions taken at the high level visits; assessed the status of the implementation in the field; and directed that concerned authorities of both the countries should redouble their endeavors to reinvigorate the bilateral mechanisms so that people at the grassroots could reap the benefits accrued from the implementation of the decisions taken.

We are confident that our visit will give a fresh impetus to further reinforce close bonds of ties and set in motion the pace of economic cooperation between our two countries.

You are fully aware that Nepal is in the throes of a crucial socio-political transformation. We have before us sterling tasks of concluding the country's ongoing peace process and drafting of a new democratic constitution reflecting the expectations of our people. We have simultaneously deployed efforts to both the fronts of highest importance at this juncture and are confident that with dialogue, consensus, unity and coordination among the political parties we will surmount the challenges and deliver to the long cherished aspiration of our people. We count on the continued goodwill, understanding and support of the Government and people of India as we move on to this end.

We, in Nepal, have been keenly observing India's sustained and spectacular economic development in the midst of global economic stagnation. You have demonstrated by example that the leadership and determination backed with conducive policy environment stimulates economic development and prosperity which others too can emulate. On the other side of our border, the People's Republic of China has equally made great strides in economic development. We are conscious of increased economic and trade interactions taking place between our closest two neighbors, India and China. We believe the dividends of prosperity across our borders should benefit our own people and business as well. From this perspective, we see great economic value and opportunities in developing Nepal as a vibrant bridge between our two neighbors on the way to shared prosperity.

We sincerely appreciate the Government and people of India for the continued cooperation in our development endeavors as a major development partner of Nepal. We see enormous scope in building on the complementarities existing between the two countries that have potentials to lead our peoples towards prosperity as dividend of collaboration. We invite India to enhance and expand partnership both in terms of public and private investment in our priority areas of building infrastructure, harnessing water resources, promoting tourism, developing industrial zones and human resources. We believe that such investments will result into mutuality of benefits and greatly contribute in expanding prosperity in our region.

With growing international stature, economic strength and political distinction backed by enormous reservoir of talented human resources, India deserves dignified place at the high plank of global stage. Nepal appreciates India's role for the cause of developing as well as the least developed countries and would like to see India play her due role in international community commensurate to her strength, size and political clouts.

We attach great importance to our relations with India and hope that our visit would add an important brick in the edifice of our multi-dimensional relations.

With these words, may I invite, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, to join me in proposing a toast:
- to the health and happiness of Your Excellency Dr. Man Mohan Singh, Prime Minister of India,

- to the continued peace, progress and prosperity of the friendly people of India , and

- to the everlasting friendship and cooperation between Nepal and India.

I thank you.

Banquet Speech by Indian PM Dr. Manmohan Singh during visit of PM of Nepal
October 21, 2011

Your Excellency Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai,
Madam Hisila Yami,
Distinguished members of the Nepalese delegation,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Government and people of India, and on my own behalf, I extend a warm welcome to you on your first visit to India as the Prime Minister of Nepal.

We feel honoured to receive you soon after you have assumed your new responsibilities.

Excellency, your association with India goes back to your student days at the College of Architecture in Chandigarh, the School of Planning and Architecture and then the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Your life has been one of struggle and sacrifice. You have fought against the status quo, and today you have joined the mainstream of Nepal's political life.

We are very happy to see you guide the destiny of Nepal, a close friend and neighbour, at this important juncture.

India and Nepal share bonds of kinship and cooperation that are defined by geography and enriched by history. Our peoples have travelled across open borders for decades. Generations of Indians and Nepalese have grown up taking this freedom of movement for granted.

We owe it to our people to build upon this foundation for the development, progress and prosperity of both our countries. The peoples of our countries are extremely talented, enterprising and have a remarkable ability to cope with adversity. Our region therefore has great potential and the time has come for us to realise this potential through cooperative effort.

India has long considered it a privilege to join Nepal in its plans for economic and social development. We both face the same challenge of development. It is in our enlightened self interest that we work in harmony and conduct our affairs with complete transparency. We must understand that by helping each other we only help ourselves. Our prosperity, security and welfare are interlinked.

Nepal is passing through a crucial phase in its quest for peace, stability and multi-party democracy. There should be no foreign interference in this process. The people of Nepal must take their decisions themselves. They have done so in the past and on every occasion have emerged even stronger.

We have full confidence in the wisdom and resilience of the people of Nepal to forge consensus through dialogue and understanding. We are with the people of Nepal in this journey and are ready to provide whatever assistance possible as per the wishes of the people of Nepal.

Distinguished guests, I request you to join me in a toast to:

- The good health and personal well-being of the Prime Minister of Nepal Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Madam Hishila Yami,

- the continued progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Nepal;

- and everlasting friendship between India and Nepal.


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