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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Nepal eyes gains from high-profile Indian visits

Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times  KATHMANDU, July 06, 2014
First Published: 00:56 IST(6/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:00 IST(6/7/2014)

Expectations are high in Kathmandu about several major announcements during the three high-profile visits from India to Nepal in July and August.
 
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj will undertake a three-day visit starting July 25, followed by home minister Rajnath Singh in early August and a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi the same month.

In a statement, Nepal’s finance ministry stated that the country’s finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat, in a meeting with the Indian ambassador to Kathmandu, sought India’s help in power generation, construction of major roads and bridges and a cricket academy in Kathmandu.

No Indian prime minister has undertaken a bilateral visit to Nepal since 1997 and Modi’s visit, the dates of which are yet to be announced, is being keenly awaited in Kathmandu.

Swaraj, who will lay the groundwork for Modi’s trip, will lead the Indian delegation in the third Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting to be held on July 26 and 27. 

The Joint Commission hasn’t met since 1991 and this month’s meeting is expected to deliberate prominently on topics of security, trade and transit, energy and water resources and long-pending issues like the finalisation of remaining work on boundary line, mutual legal assistance and power trade agreements.


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