Prez bhandari to pay state visit to India on Monday

- Post Report, NEW DELHI

Apr 13, 2017-

President Bidya Dev Bhandari will be paying a state visit to India from April 17 to 21, Nepal and India officially announced on Wednesday.

President Bhandari is visiting the southern neighbour at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee. 

This is the first state visit of President Bhandari after assuming office in October 2015.

Though her visit was planned in May last year, it was called off later following dramatic political developments at home and “lack of preparations” on the part of the government. 

According to sources, President Bhandari will be in India purely on a goodwill visit and that no bilateral agreements or understandings will be signed during her five-day stay. “There will be no agreements between the two countries or announcements of grants/ assistance,” a high-level official involved in the preparations of the visit told the Post. 

There were earlier talks about signing of a memorandum of understanding between Radio Nepal and All India Radio (AIR), but there has not been much headway in this regard, the official said. A Radio Nepal-AIR MoU is pending since former prime minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to India in February last year. 

The Indian side has said that President Bhandari’s upcoming visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and that the visit will further deepen the cordial ties that exist between Nepal and India. 

“The upcoming visit reflects the priority that both India and Nepal attach to further strengthening of their age-old, unique, wide-ranging partnership, underpinned by shared historical and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people connections,” said a statement issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

After arriving in New Delhi on April 17, President Bhandari on April 18 will attend a reception and receive a guard of honour at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. She will also pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat and visit Yamuna Biodiversity Park.

On the same day, President Bhandari will hold talks with her Indian counterpart Mukherjee and attend a banquet hosted by the latter. Apart from official engagements in New Delhi, she will be visiting Gujarat and Odisha. 

Indian President Mukherjee, who will complete his five-year tenure in July, paid a state visit to Nepal in November last year.

Published: 13-04-2017 07:46

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