India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh banquet speech during PM Bhattarai visit

Official visit of Prime Minister of Nepal to India

[20-23 October 2011]


Banquet Speech


Your Excellency Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai,

Madam Hisila Yami,

Distinguished members of the Nepalese delegation,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


            On behalf of the Government and people of India, and on my own behalf, I extend a warm welcome to you on your first visit to India as the Prime Minister of Nepal.


We feel honoured to receive you soon after you have assumed your new responsibilities.


            Excellency, your association with India goes back to your student days at the College of Architecture in Chandigarh, the School of Planning and Architecture and then the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.


Your life has been one of struggle and sacrifice. You have fought against the status quo, and today you have joined the mainstream of Nepal’s political life.


            We are very happy to see you guide the destiny of Nepal, a close friend and neighbour, at this important juncture.


            India and Nepal share bonds of kinship and cooperation that are defined by geography and enriched by history.  Our peoples have travelled across open borders for decades. Generations of Indians and Nepalese have grown up taking this freedom of movement for granted.


            We owe it to our people to build upon this foundation for the development, progress and prosperity of both our countries. The peoples of our countries are extremely talented, enterprising and have a remarkable ability to cope with adversity. Our region therefore has great potential and the time has come for us to realise this potential through cooperative effort.


 India has long considered it a privilege to join Nepal in its plans for economic and social development. We both face the same challenge of development. It is in our enlightened self interest that we work in harmony and conduct our affairs with complete transparency.   We must understand that by helping each other we only help ourselves. Our prosperity, security and welfare are interlinked. 


 Nepal is passing through a crucial phase in its quest for peace, stability and multi-party democracy. There should be no foreign interference in this process. The people of Nepal must take their decisions themselves. They have done so in the past and on every occasion have emerged even stronger.  


We have full confidence in the wisdom and resilience of the people of Nepal to forge consensus through dialogue and understanding. We are with the people of Nepal in this journey and are ready to provide whatever assistance possible as per the wishes of the people of Nepal.


Distinguished guests,  I request you to join me in a toast to:


- The good health and personal well-being of the Prime Minister of Nepal Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Madam Hishila Yami,


- the continued progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Nepal;


- and everlasting friendship between India and Nepal.


* * *END* * *


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