18 October, Kathmandu
Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who returned after attending the BRICS-Bimstec Outreach Summit in India, described his meeting with leaders from the neighbouring countries as “rare and pleasant”.
One particular meeting he was referred to was a session with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping late Saturday evening, The Kathmandu Post reported on Tuesday.
After a photo of Dahal sitting with Modi and Xi emerged through Facebook, speculation had gone into overdrive in Kathmandu. Upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Dahal told reporters that the meeting had come as a “surprise” to him.
Stating that the meeting was merely a coincidence, Dahal said, “It was, however, a matter of pride for me”.
Dahal’s joint meeting with Xi and Modi had taken place after his one-on-one meeting with the Chinese President earlier.
“I was in the waiting lounge of the hotel where the Chinese president entered,” said Dahal, as he used the Nepali adage “dhunga khojda deuta bhetnu”, which translates into “finding god while looking for a stone idol”, giving a sense that Xi’s entry was a godsend (for him).
“After 20 minutes, Prime Minister Modi dropped in. He was also stuck in the same hotel due to some technical reasons.”
Dahal described that moment as a “rare and pleasant” coincidence.
A visibly thrilled Dahal even likened the sitting arrangement of the three leaders to Nepal’s geographical location, saying that he was in the middle with Xi sitting on the north and Modi on the south.
“I put forward the idea of trilateral strategic cooperation and partnership among three countries. Both leaders described the proposal as positive,” said Dahal, adding “This is a positive aspect, and we must take it in a good light. The meeting was not pre-planned.”
“In totality, I understand our two-day stay in Goa was fruitful,” the Prime Minister added.