Frosty relations headed for thaw after 4 months

  • Nepal-India ties
- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Jan 29, 2016-

Nepal-India ties seem to be headed for a thaw after four months frosty relationship following promulgation of the constitution in Nepal. 

But after the first amendment to the constitution on January 23, there are indications that stalled meetings of bilateral mechanism, visits and engagements between Nepal and India are going to resume. 

High level visits to India from the Nepali side are also going to start soon. 

Chief of the Army Staff General Rajendra Chettri is scheduled to make an official trip to India beginning Monday at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Gen Dalbir Singh. 

Though the itinerary of his visit is yet to be unveiled by the Nepal Army Headquarters, according to officials, Gen Chettri will be conferred with honorary Chief of Indian Army by President Pranab Mukherjee during a special function during his six-day visit to India. This is his first foreign visit of Gen Chettri after he took over the reins of the Army on September 10 last year. 

Similarly, Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel will be travelling to New Delhi in the first week of February.

Officials said that Poudel’s visit is crucial for setting the stage for the visit of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. Finance Minister Poudel is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart Arunj Jaitely 

and other senior Indian officials during his Delhi stay. He will also discuss the utilisation of India-announced line of credit of $1 billion for various projects. 

Sources said that Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae is also visiting India for the preparation of PM Oli’s visit.

Dates for PM Oli’s India visit are yet to be fixed, but it is likely to take place in late February. 

A meeting of energy secretaries of two countries to discuss the prospects of power exchange, master plan for installation of six cross border energy corridors, import and export, infrastructure enhancement, among other important agendas held on Wednesday and Thursday in Kathmandu is also being seen as the prelude to PM Oli’s visit to the southern neighbour. The meeting also discussed power projects undertaken by Indian private firms and decided to hold a meeting with the Pancheshwor Development Authority in Kathmandu.

Officials said that several other meetings and engagements are also on the cards. 

We’ve been told about Oli’s visit: Delhi

KATHMANDU: Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), on Thursday said the Indian side has been told that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli would be visiting India. As you know, when the prime minister (Narendra Modi) congratulated KP Sharma Oli in October 2015 on his becoming the prime minister of Nepal, he also extended an invitation to him to visit India, said Swarup during a press briefing in New Delhi.  “Now we have been told that the prime minister of Nepal will be visiting India. The dates for the visit will be fixed through diplomatic channels,” he added. Asked about Madhesi leaders’ visits to New Delhi, Swarup said India has always maintained contact across the political spectrum in Nepal without taking sides. (PR)

Published: 29-01-2016 08:39

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