Sat. Sep 19th, 2020

New Delhi: “No”, said Minister of State for External AffairsV MuraleedharaninLok Sabhain response to a written question on whether India’s bilateral ties with neighbouring countries like Nepal,China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Myanmar have deteriorated recently.

The question was asked by Trinamool Congress member Sougata Ray.

The minister’s response that relations with China and five other countries have not deteriorated came at a time when Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a bitter standoff in eastern Ladakh.

Ray also asked two other supplementary questions: whether China is keeping good relations with any of the five countries mentioned, and the steps taken for cordial relations with neighbouring countries of India.

Answering these questions, Muraleedharan said the government accords the “highest priority” to India’s relations with its neighbouring countries.

“India is an active political and economic partner of its neighbours and is involved in various projects, including development projects with these countries,” Muraleedharan said.

He further said India also has extensive education, culture, trade and investment linkages with neighbouring countries.

“India’s relations with other countries stand on their own footing and are independent of the relations of those countries with third countries,” he said.

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