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Nepal PM arrives on six-day visit to India

129 Days ago

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New Delhi: Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli arrived here on Friday on a six-day visit to India -- his first foreign visit after assuming office in October last year. He was received at the airport by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The visit of Oli, who is accompanied by his wife Radhika Sakya, is the first bilateral visit by a prime minister from the Himalayan nation since 2011 when then prime Baburam Bhattarai visited India.

In 2014, then prime minister Sushil Koirala visited India for the swearing-in ceremony of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

In August 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on a bilateral visit to Nepal which was the first by an Indian prime minister in 17 years. Modi again went in November 2014 to attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in Kathmandu. Oli and his wife will stay as state guests at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"During the visit, we expect discussions on all issues of mutual interest," external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said during a media briefing here on Thursday ahead of Oli's visit.  "Bilateral cooperation, particularly in the key areas of energy, connectivity, and people-to-people linkages will form the main focus of the visit, he said.  A high-level delegation is accompanying Oli during the visit.

The delegation includes Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa, Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel, Home Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Chief Advisor to the prime minister Bishnu Prasad Rimal, chief executive of the National Reconstruction Authority, and 13 MPs from various political parties, besides senior government officials as well as representatives of Nepal's business community.

On Saturday, Sushma Swaraj will call on Oli after which the visiting dignitary will meet Prime Minister Modi. This will be followed by delegation-level talks and signing of various agreements. Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will then call on the Nepalese prime minister.

Oli will also call on Vice President Hamid Ansari and President Pranab Mukherjee later in the day. On Sunday, he will leave for Dehradun where he will visit the Tehri hydel power project. After returning to New Delhi the same day, the Nepalese prime minister will meet leaders of various political parties.

On Monday, Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal will call on Oli after which the visiting dignitary will address the Indian Council for World Affairs. In the evening, Oli will attend a business meeting. On Tuesday, he will leave for Bhuj in Gujarat to take stock of the earthquake reconstruction work there. Later in the day, he will leave for Mumbai where he will meet Maharashtra Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao. Oli will depart from India on Wednesday.  (IANS)

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