01 April 2016 13:40:36 IST

Nepal says India-EU statement’s reference to it uncalled for

‘Sentiments of the people hurt and fundamental of non-interference in internal affairs defied’

Nepal today hit out at the India-EU joint statement that referred to the need for an “inclusive Constitutional settlement” in the country, saying it was “uncalled for” and has hurt people’s sentiments.

India and the European Union pledged continued support to Nepal in its reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquakes in 2015, including capacity building and long term development, said a joint statement issued after 13th India-EU Summit in Brussels.

“They also agreed on the need for a lasting and inclusive Constitutional settlement in Nepal that will address the remaining Constitutional issues in a time bound manner, and promote political stability and economic growth,” the statement said.

The Nepalese Foreign Ministry, in a statement issued a day after the EU-India Summit on Wednesday, maintained that the Constitution-making and its promulgation were essentially Nepal’s internal matters.

“Nepal promulgated the Constitution through a democratically elected Constituent Assembly and the Constitution has fully accommodated the aspirations of the people of Nepal,” it said.

Nepal has now moved ahead along the path of political stability and economic development, the Nepalese Foreign Ministry said and made it clear that the promulgation of the Constitution formally concluded the nationally-driven peace process initiated in 2006 and institutionalised significant democratic gains including the federal and republican system.

‘Hurt sentiments’

“Against this backdrop, the EU-India Joint Statement not only hurts the sentiments of the people of Nepal but also defies the fundamental principle of non-interference in internal affairs of a country in breach of UN Charter and norms of international law,” the statement said.

“The Nepalese government called on all sides to fully respect the sovereign and democratic rights of the Nepalese people and refrain from making uncalled for statements,” it said.

The statement asserted that the government and people of Nepal are fully capable of resolving their issues themselves within the framework of the Constitution.

The 13th India-EU Summit, held after a gap of four years, was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and EU leaders.

The India-EU statement came as the Madhesis, mostly of Indian origin, have been demanding the new Constitution be amended to include their concerns about adequate political representation and redrawing of federal boundaries.

They had enforced months-long blockade of Nepal’s all trading points with India, creating huge shortage of essential commodities in the country and souring Indo-Nepal ties.

Nepal had accused India of imposing the “economic blockade”, which India strongly denied.