New Delhi [India], June 11 (ANI): Congress leader Anand Sharma on Wednesday said that recent developments in India-Nepal relations and "dispute over the Kalapani-Lipulekh area" following the publication of a new map by Nepal depicting the area as Nepalese territory is a matter of national concern.
Sharma, who is Chairperson of Congress Foreign Affairs Department and a Rajya Sabha MP, said in a statement that India and Nepal share a historic and time-tested relationship marked by mutual respect, friendship, and trust.
"The strong cultural ties and shared traditions between the people of India and Nepal, make the relationship unique and special. Both the countries have invested enormously in nurturing and promoting a strategic partnership recognizing and respecting each others sensitivities," he said.
The Congress leader said the two countries have an established bilateral mechanism to resolve any dispute and differences through negotiations.
"It is regrettable, that the present impasse has reached a stage, which has strained the friendly relationship. This needs to be addressed urgently," he said.
He said two countries have successfully settled more than "98 percent of common border issues" and India has always respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nepal.
Sharma said "diplomacy and negotiations" must be given a chance to resolve the present issue and that the two countries "should secure and protect the precious goodwill built over the years."
He said the Centre should take the nation into confidence and "brief the leadership of political parties, as is expected in a parliamentary democracy."
Nepal's Lower House on Tuesday unanimously endorsed a proposal seeking consideration of a constitution amendment bill for change of country's map after a lengthy discussion.
The proposal "Constitution of Nepal (Second Amendment) Bill 2077" relates to a new map of the country that includes Indian areas of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh. (ANI)