India visit successful, historic: PM

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 9, 2018-

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has claimed that his state visit to India was historic and largely successful.

Talking to journalists at the Tribhuvan International Airport on his return from the three-day visit on Sunday evening, the PM said serious dialogue with New Delhi

had been helpful in resolving disputes.

During his maiden visit to the southern neighbour after assuming office in February, PM Oli focused on trust-building with the Indian political leadership, after the lows in bilateral ties caused by India’s border blockade following the promulgation of the constitution in 2015.

India accorded great importance to Oli’s visit this time while the media there had an extensive coverage of the trip, rare for a visiting Nepali prime minister. Relations with India have become sound, the PM remarked.

“We have always maintained a good relationship with India, unless when another party wants to derail it,” he said.

“Our relationship with India will move on the right track and in positive direction,” said Oli. “The picture speaks itself; there is no need to elaborate on it.”

He held three separate and joint meetings with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, with focus on mending ties and building trust.

“In my meetings, I clearly said Nepal wants the relations based on mutual respect

and with respect for each other’s dignity and sovereignty, which Indian Prime Minister Modi and others took positively,” Oli said.

“Since I enjoy a strong mandate, I put forth all the issues including [Tarai] inundation and the boundary row. We had a frank and positive discussion with the Indian leadership on all matters of our relations.

“We have raised and discussed several issues and there has been some progress. Outstanding issues will be resolved through talks.”

Three agreements related to agriculture, railway and inland water navigations were reached during the visit. Prime Ministers Oli and Modi are said to have had frank exchanges of ideas, and merits and demerits of Nepal-India relations.

Oli told the media that he raised the issue of gas bullets bought by Nepali traders to transport liquefied petroleum gas from India with the Indian side. India has

been halting permission for more than 300 bullets to import cooking gas. Nepal also sought four more air routes via India.

The PM, however, did not respond to queries related to the swapping of banned Indian currency notes parked in various banks and financial institutions and held by the Nepali public.

The PM said he had raised the issue of a link road in Tanakpur, about the 1.5 kilometre section to be built by the Indian side. New Delhi had issued instruction to the Uttarakhand chief minister to complete the works soon.

Ahead of Oli’s session, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali had briefed the media on the outcomes of the visit.

Published: 09-04-2018 08:00

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