New Delhi: Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli accompanied by his spouse Mrs. Radhika Shakya will be paying a State Visit to India from April 6-8. This will be his first foreign visit to India after taking office last month in keeping with the tradition of his country’s Prime Ministers.
During the visit, Prime Minister of Nepal will call on the President and Vice President of India and will hold talks with Prime Minister of India. EAM and other Ministers will call on the Prime Minister of Nepal. India and Nepal enjoy age-old, special ties of friendship and cooperation. The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to the two sides to review wide-ranging cooperative partnership, and to progress it further for the benefit of the two peoples.
PM Narendra Modi had congratulated Oli on CPN-UML’s victory in the election polls and according to a report in Kathmandu Post, the Indian PM invited Oli to visit India after the formation of the government. “PM Modi told Oli over the telephone that the left bloc’s success will strengthen democracy in Nepal while expressing hope that the alliance’s victory will maintain political stability and economic development,” said the report.
What sets this visit apart is the fact that PM Modi will receive his Nepali counterpart at the airport and President Ram Nath Kovind will host a banquet for him.
2017 saw Nepal’s growing inclination towards China after the country signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the framework agreement on China’s One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR), marking Nepal’s official move to become part of Beijing’s ambitious plan to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes.
The Himalayan nation, sandwiched between the two Asian giants, is trying to balance its ties with Beijing and New Delhi.
India-Nepal bilateral relations suffered a great deal because of the 2015 Nepal blockade. This blockade brought Nepal on the brink of economic and humanitarian crisis and severely affected its economy.
Political observers see this “blockade” and India’s anxiety over China-Nepal entente as one of the main reasons for Nepal to seek a balanced bilateral relationship with New Delhi. Nepal has already made it clear that it is not going to tolerate any interference in the affairs of the country from both India and China.
“We seek cooperation and help from both India and China for our development but we will not tolerate any interference in our affairs, from either side,” said CPN-UML politburo member Bhim Rawal, who has been elected to the Parliament.
Through this visit, India and Nepal are exploring ways to boost economic and investment partnership, including in the areas of connectivity and capacity building. The two sides are expected to work on expediting the implementation of mega projects, including the Pancheshwar multi-purpose project and the Postal Highway amid China’s push to build infrastructure in the Himalayan State.
“India has played a supportive role in Nepal’s development and I am visiting India to strengthen bilateral relations between both the countries,” Oli said at a programme organized by the Reporters Club on Saturday.
Besides official engagements in New Delhi, the Prime Minister of Nepal will also be visiting G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand.
(With inputs from MEA)