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Top Nepal leaders coming for talks

The visit has no specific agenda, except to strengthen bilateral cooperation, reports Nilova Roy Chaudhury.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2006 21:34 IST

Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, KP Sharma Oli, is visiting India between November 5 and 11, for the first high-level visit from that country since the visit of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in June.

The visit has no specific agenda, except to strengthen bilateral cooperation, officials said. Oli will brief New Delhi on the progress of the ongoing peace process between the Seven-Party Alliance government in Nepal and the Maoist leadership, which has reached a crucial stage. The SPA and Maoists are likely to arrive at an agreement on the management of arms and a schedule for elections to a Constituent Assembly.

No new agreements are scheduled for signing during Oli's visit, but India will offer whatever assistance it can to ensure the Himalayan nation's peaceful development, officials said.

The visit closely follows the first ever meeting between the Maoist leadership, comprising 'Prachanda' and his deputy, Babu Ram Bhattarai, and the Indian Ambassador, Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, in Kathmandu. At the meeting, Bhattarai said, they had sought the release of two of their colleagues in Indian jails, Mohan Vaidya and Chandra Prakash Gajurel.

According to Mukherjee, India was keen to facilitate a peaceful agreement between the SPA government and the Maoists, to enable much-needed development activity to commence for the reconstruction of Nepal's economy, ravaged by years of insurgent violence and the monarchy's misrule.

India has already offered Rs 100 crores as aid and assistance in major infrastructure projects in Nepal.