India on Friday stressed that Nepal needs to resolve the political unrest over its new constitution as it is impeding the movement of fuel and other supplies from India.
Commenting on reports of Nepal striking a deal with China for fuel imports on Thursday, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup expressed doubts about energy supplies from China aiding a long-term solution to the discontent over the Nepalese constitution.
Supplies to Nepal have stopped because “sections of Nepal’s population are not in agreement with its constitution, they are not allowing the supplies to come through. I don’t know whether it will solve the long-term problem,” Swarup told reporters in New Delhi.
India, which shares close religious and cultural ties with Hindu-majority Nepal and has an open border that allows people to move freely, has long been wary of gradually strengthening China-Nepal relations. Kathmandu has from time to time sought to take advantage of the rivalry between Nepal’s giant neighbours.
Ties between India and Nepal have become strained since Nepal’s adoption of a new constitution last month. Nepal blames India for a blockade that has prevented the transportation of fuel and other supplies while India says the blockade is caused by Nepalese protesters, up in arms against the new constitution