Prachanda says ties with India ‘important’

April 13th, 2008 - 8:49 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) Nepal’s Maoist leader Prachanda said Sunday that his country would keep “equal distance” between its two giant neighbours India and China but that good relations with New Delhi were “important”. Speaking to Indian TV channel Times Now as election results showed the Maoists well ahead in the race for power, Prachanda said: “We will maintain equal distance from India and China in political terms.”

At the same time, he underlined that Nepal has a “historical relationship with India”, with which it shares “open borders”.

“It is very important to have good relations with India. We will further develop our close ties with India,” he said.

Prachanda asserted that his Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist was committed to the multi-party system.

“It is important to create a vibrant society that has harmony with itself. For that we came to a conclusion that we need to take the peace process forward, we need multi-party competition and hence it has changed our entire outlook.”

Prachanda noted that he had discussed with former US president Jimmy Carter, who was an election observer, the issue of the Maoists being labelled a terrorist organisation by Washington.

“It seems ridiculous to me. We entered the peace process, we entered the interim government, and we drafted the interim constitution. We have taken part in the election and we are heading towards a majority,” he said.

The Maoist leader said Carter had promised to convey his concerns to the US administration.

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