PM to embark on a 2-day visit to Nepal from Friday

by Garry Watts May 11, 2018, 0:46
PM to embark on a 2-day visit to Nepal from Friday

Indian Premier Narendra Modi is due in Nepal on Friday for a two-day visit created to mend fences with its smaller neighbor, but anger is still simmering in the landlocked country over a crippling blockade some two years ago. This visit is taking place approximately a month after Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli visited New Delhi. This is Modi's third visit as Prime Minister - he visited the neighbouring country in August and November 2014.

PM Modi and Mr Oli will remotely lay the foundation of the 900-megawatt Arun III hydro-electric project, the licence for which was awarded by Mr Oli during his visit to India.

Later, Modi will meet the leaders of various political parties which will be followed by a civic reception to be hosted by the mayor of Kathmandu.

PM will leave for Kathmandu later, where he will be given ceremonial reception.

Addressing the parliament, Minister Gyawali said Modi will pay courtesy calls on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Vice-president Nanda Bahadur Pun on May 11. "I will be holding extensive talks with PM Oli on ways to further deepen bilateral cooperation", Modi tweeted.

"We are looking forward to this visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi".

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Nepal on May 11 in Janakpur. Nepal PM Khadga Prasad Oli will be welcoming Modi at the temple, where Modi will be doing a special puja for about 30 minutes, led by 12 priests.

Modi will also attend a banquet hosted by Oli tomorrow. He briefed them about issues to be taken up with Modi and solicited their advice.

Describing his two-day trip to Nepal as a reflection of his government's commitment to "neighbourhood first" policy, Modi said the Himalayan nation has entered a new era and India would continue to support it.

The aim will also be to bring "substance" and "seriousness" in ties, a source said, while expressing the hope that "it will further build trust between the two neighbours". "These include the Madhes-based parties as well", a government official said on Thursday.

In the wake of China rapidly increasing its influence in Nepal and the formidable Chinese reputation of executing infrastructure projects in other countries at break-neck speed, New Delhi seems keen to demonstrate that it too can be equally swift and decisive.

The sources said there may be an announcement on the proposed Ramayan circuit, under which fifteen destinations like Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot will be developed to promote religious tourism.

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