Set priorities for India visit, says PM oli

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Jan 12, 2016-

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has instructed senior ministers and government officials to fix immediate priorities with India and make preparations along the same lines for his visit to India. 

PM Oli on Monday held a meeting with three Deputy Prime Ministers Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, Kamal Thapa and Bhim Rawal, some ministers and half a dozen secretaries of various ministries, including foreign, finance, energy, commerce, home and commerce, to discuss his upcoming visit to India and instructed them to prepare agendas on the basis of immediate priorities and some substantive matters that can be discussed when he visits India. 

Oli is likely to embark on a visit to India in the second week of February, and to 

set the stage for the visit, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae is currently in 

New Delhi.

A senior Nepali diplomat told the Post that New Delhi “though is ready to welcome PM Oli, it wants to see an early settlement of political standoff and unrest in the Tarai” that will encourage both sides to make the visit successful. 

While outlining the present status of ties with India, DPM Thapa said in the meeting that preparations for the prime minister’s visit should focus on four different clusters: things that need to be addressed immediately; matters on which substantive outcome can be achieved; tracing down long-term framework for bilateral relations and model of cooperation; and political understanding and consensus.

“The visit should yield some substantive outcome on priority basis,” Oli’s Political Adviser Bishnu Rimal quoted the prime minister as saying during the meeting. “Both sides need to be clear about common concerns and interests,” added PM Oli, instructing the DPMs, ministers and secretaries to find out the priorities. According to PM Oli’s Senior Foreign Relation Expert Gopal Khanal, Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi briefed the meeting on the status of bilateral ties, status of various treaties and understandings with India and immediate priorities of Nepal. The status of reviewing 1950’s Peace and Friendship Treaty, installation of eminent persons group to make recommendation for the new treaty and using India-announced $1 billion line of credit and others also figured in the meeting. 

During his visit to Nepal in August 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced $1 billion line of credit for Nepal for various projects, but no concrete homework has been done from the Nepali side on ways to use it. 

Published: 12-01-2016 08:35

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