Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is on a five-day visit to India, is holding talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two prime ministers are likely to review the entire gamut of bilateral ties and discuss ways to further deepen the special relationship in a range of areas including trade and investment.
The political situation in Nepal is expected to figure prominently in the talks, particularly in the context of steps being taken by Deuba’s government to fulfil aspirations of the Indian-origin Madheshi community.
“The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to both the sides for holding wide-ranging discussions on the issues of mutual interest and advancing age-old special ties of friendship between our two countries,” the External Affairs Ministry had said on Monday.
Earlier in the day PM Deuba was accorded ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He also visited Rajghat to pay his respects.
PM Modi had an unscheduled meeting with the visiting prime minister on Wednesday evening.
“A special welcome for a trusted friend. @PM_Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba receives ceremonial honours at @rashtrapatibhvn (sic),” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
This is PM Deuba’s first foreign trip after he assumed office in June 2017.
Ever since Nepal adopted a new Constitution in September 2015, Madhesis, mostly of Indian origin, have been opposing the new statute as they fear it would marginalise them by dividing the country into seven provinces.
Madhesi protests from October 2015 to February 2016 had resulted in the closure of key trading points with India, triggering shortage of essential supplies in the land-locked country.
The blockade of trade points with India ended in February after more than 50 people were killed in clashes with the police.
(With inputs from agencies)