India’s new envoy to Nepal arrives in Kathmandu
The position of the Indian ambassador in Nepal is considered a “prize posting” because of the close relationship between the two countries.world Updated: Mar 25, 2017 20:33 IST
The new Indian ambassador to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri, arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday to replace Ranjit Rae, who completed his tenure last month.
Puri is the 24th Indian envoy to Nepal. Rae completed his three-and-a-half year term on February 28.
The new envoy is scheduled to present his credentials to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Sunday.
The position of the Indian ambassador in Nepal is considered a “prize posting” because of the close relationship between the two countries and New Delhi usually chooses one of its most senior diplomats for the post. The respect and regard the Indian ambassador receives in Kathmandu is rare for any diplomatic assignment.
As a close neighbour of Nepal and due to the open border, India keeps a close watch on political, cultural, economic and security-related developments in Kathmandu and this makes the job of the Indian envoy all the more challenging.
India’s role as a stakeholder in Nepal’s peace process is also crucial at a time when the political situation is unpredictable. Nepal is preparing to hold three elections in the next 10 months against the backdrop of a standoff between the government and Madhesi parties.
Before Puri was appointed as ambassador to Nepal, he was India’s envoy to Belgium. An Indian Foreign Service officer of the 1982 batch, Puri also served as ambassador to the UN in New York during 2009-13. He was a senior member of India's UN Security Council team during 2011-12.
Puri was actively involved with issues of sustainable development and environment and was a lead negotiator in India's delegation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. He was also a key member of India's delegation at various climate change negotiations.