Indo-Nepal ties set to boost with PM Oli’s arrival

RSTV Bureau
KATHMANDU:  Nepal's President Ram Baran Yadav, second left, administers the oath of office to newly elected Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli, right, at the Presidential building in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015.  Photo - PTI

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav, second left, administers the oath of office to newly elected Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli, right, at the Presidential building in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015.
Photo – PTI

Nepalese Prime Minister KP Oli will arrive in New Delhi late on Friday afternoon for a six-day state visit to prop up Indo-Nepal ties. During his stay he will hold talks with PM Narendra Modi on several issues which also include the newly adopted Nepalese Constitution.

It is expected that India will ask Nepal to complete the “unfinished task” of making the new Nepalese Constitution more inclusive to address the concerns of the Indian-origin Madhesi community, said External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

“Our country will definitely benefit from my visit to India beginning from Friday and we won’t lose from the visit… The main focus of the visit will be to create favourable situation and to build trust,” PM Oli said on Thursday.

Oli’s visit assumes significance because of India’s sagging relations with Nepal over the Madhesi protests. This is Oli’s first foreign trip after assuming charge and is the first bilateral visit by a Nepalese Prime Minister to India after Baburam Bhattarai visited in October 2011.

Oli will meet PM Modi on Saturday and the two leaders are expected to sign a number of agreements to boost bilateral ties. He is also likely to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Both sides are likely to resolve the difference over the Madhesi protest which led to a massive economic blockade in Nepal. Nepal alleged that the blockade in its southern border with India was imposed by Indian authorities as they were backing the agitation led by Madhesis. India vehemently denied the charge.

The United Democratic Madhesi Front, the four-party alliance, withdrew their protests early this month. The Madhesis were protesting against the new Constitution because they thought it was discriminatory in nature.

“We have followed all due processes while promulgating the Constitution and the document was endorsed with overwhelming majority votes in the Constituent Assembly. We need to clear some misunderstandings in our relations and the process of clearing misunderstanding has already begun,” PM Oli said on Indo-Nepal ties.

The two countries are set to sign multiple pacts which include 2 MoUs of USD 1 billion each which India has already pledged to the country. USD 1 billion was committed by PM Modi and another USD 1 billion was pledged for Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visited Kathmandu.

Nepalese cabinet ministers, 13 MPs from various political parties and the Chief Executive of the National Reconstruction Authority of Nepal are all part of the visiting delegation with PM Oli.

During his stay, PM Oli will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari. He is also scheduled to visit Dehradun, Gujarat and Mumbai.

(With inputs from PTI)