PM holds consultations for maiden India visit

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Former prime ministers, ministers and diplomats advise PM Oli to revisit ties with the southern neighbour rather than signing any new deal

Feb 9, 2016-Ahead of his maiden visit to the southern neighbour, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday held a meeting with former prime ministers, foreign ministers and diplomats who in the past have served in India for consultation. PM Oli is set to embark on a visit to New Delhi on February 19.  

During the meeting, the former prime ministers, ministers and diplomats advised PM Oli to mend fences with India, saying “we are at a crucial juncture when it comes to ties between the two countries”.

Relations between Nepal and India, which hit an all-time low following the promulgation of the constitution, are gradually getting better, signs of which are visits of the Army chief and Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel to New Delhi. Finance Minister Poudel, who is in New Delhi, on Monday met his Indian counterpart Arun Jaitely. 

The former prime ministers, ministers and diplomats told PM Oli that confidence building is important at this juncture and that he should focus on revisiting the ties rather than signing any fresh deal, according to Gopal Khanal, foreign relations expert to PM Oli. Former PM Jhala Nath Khanal said that PM Oli should also talk about the possibility of trilateral cooperation between Nepal, India and China.

 Former foreign minister Madhav Ghimire said that PM’s idea of keeping national interest as key while dealing with India made sense and it would be a good start.

During the meeting, PM Oli had stressed on what he called his “five principles of foreign policy”.

I will never compromise on Nepal’s sovereignty and matters that will have ramifications on Nepal’s national integrity, Khanal quoted Oli as telling the guests. Nepal, as an independent nation, is free to take any decision regarding its national or international issues, Oli added. 

Former ambassador Bhekh Bahadur Thapa told PM Oli that Nepal needed a comprehensive foreign policy.



Published: 09-02-2016 08:29

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