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Chinese FM plans visit to Nepal

Within hours of Indian external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee’s successful visit to Nepal, China on Thursday announced its Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s visit to the Himalayan nation, reports Anirban Roy.

world Updated: Nov 27, 2008 18:10 IST
Anirban Roy

Within hours of Indian external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee’s successful visit to Nepal, China on Thursday announced its Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s visit to the Himalayan nation.

Mukherjee returned to New Delhi on Wednesday afternoon after a three-day visit to Nepal. He held series of meetings with the leaders of political parties in Nepal and described his visit as “highly satisfactory”.

Confirming the report, Suresh Prasad Pradhan, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal told Hindustan Times that Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is likely to reach Kathmandu on December 2.

“The entire programme of his (Yang’s) has not been finalized as yet,” Pradhan said, adding that he is scheduled to leave for Myanmar on December 4.

During the visit, Yang is scheduled to meet Nepal’s Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav, Prime Minister Prachanda, president Ram Baran Yadav and senior leaders of different political parties.

The Foreign Ministry officials in Nepal described Yang’s visit to the Himalayan nation as a routine tour. However, the opposition parties have been accusing the Maoist-led government of trying to befriend China.

Interestingly, Mukherjee on Wednesday had said that New Delhi had no problems with Nepal’s growing proximity with China.

In response to media questions on the growing Nepal-China friendship, the Indian external affairs minister had said that it was natural for every sovereign country to develop friendly relationships with other countries.

Before taking over as Prime Minister, Prachanda had claimed to maintain “equidistance” with India and China. But, after the formation of the new government, the Maoists started getting closer to Beijing.

The media had also trained guns at Prachanda, as he, within hours of taking over the reigns of the country, had undertaken his maiden foreign visit to China. Traditionally, every new PM of Nepal embarks on their foreign trips with a visit to New Delhi.

Moreover, several other Maoist ministers and party members have also undertaken visits to China during the last couple of months.