Nepal PM to undertake six-day India visit from today

New Delhi: Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli will arrive in New Delhi today on a six-day visit to India. This is first visit of Mr Oli abroad after assuming office in October last year.

Mr Oli will be accorded ceremonial reception at the forecourts of the Rashtrapati Bhawan tomorrow.

The visiting dignitary will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold delegation level talks. Thereafter, the two countries will exchange agreements.

Mr.Oli will be accompanied by senior members of the Nepal Cabinet. During the visit, the two sides are expected to hold wide ranging discussions on issues of mutual concern, as well as on strengthening bilateral cooperation in diverse areas including developmental assistance, energy and connectivity.

The visit is expected to lead a further strengthening of India’s age-old, close and friendly relations with the Himalayan nation. Speaking to media on the eve of his visit to India, Mr Oli said, rebuilding the friendship with India is Nepal’s biggest mission and the the focus is to take the bilateral relations to a new heights.

Ahead of his visit, Prime Minister Oli said India’s invitation to him for an official visit is indicative of its acceptance to Nepal’s recently promulgated constitution.

“It wouldn’t be wise to say that the constitution has not been welcomed since the prime minister after its promulgation has been invited with the honour,” he said.

He said during his visit he will clear the doubts about Nepal in India, bring the relations between the two friendly nations back to normal, inform India about the growing investment-friendly environment in Nepal and strengthen the multidimensional Nepal-India relations.

“As my India tour has been termed ‘agenda less’ so I have a bigger responsibility on me. With specific agendas, I would have been confined with limited issues but now I will have to talk about a range of issues,” Oli told media at his official residence in Baluwatar in Kathmanduon on Thursday.

“I have great expectation from this visit. India has already begun to show friendly gestures and I will make sure to take it to a new height. I will not forge any agreements that are against national interest.”

Oli also said that his India visit follows invitation from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Like Nepal, India too has given utmost importance to this visit. So this visit has been called state visit,” he said.

When asked whether he will bring up the issues of Nepal-India border, Oli replied that this is not a time to talk about such issues.

He said Nepal-India relations are based on honesty, friendliness and trust upon each other rather than on crooked diplomacy.

Apart from having delegation-level talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, Oli will call on President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, and interact with several Indian ministers and officials.

According to a report in the Kathmandu Post, at least four memorandums of understanding (MoUs), including two on line of credit and reconstruction aid, are expected to be signed during the visit.

The MoUs will be signed on an India-announced USD 1 billion line of credit and another USD 1 billion assistance for Nepal’s reconstruction effort. These two MoUs will provide framework for utilising the Indian aid.

During his visit to Nepal in August 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced USD 1 billion line of credit to Nepal for various infrastructure projects.

Similarly, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the donors’ conference in June had announced another USD 1 billion loan and aid to Nepal for reconstruction efforts.

Another MoU is expected to be signed between Sanggeetnatak Academy of India and Natya Sangeet Academy of Nepal to exchange various cultural programmes.

Similarly, Radio Nepal and All India Radio will sign another MoU cooperation and exchange of various programmes. Respective governments from both sides have already got these MoUs approved from the respective Cabinets, said sources.

During Oli’s visit, a formal announcement of importing 80 MW electricity through the recently installed Dhalkebar- Muzaffarpur 400kV transmission line will also be made.

Besides four MoUS, several other MoUs could also be signed. (ANI)