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Nepal’s foreign minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara to visit India on Sunday

Soon after he took charge as DPM and foreign minister, his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj had congratulated Mahara and invited him to New Delhi.

world Updated: Jun 30, 2017 11:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nepal,India,Indo Nepal
Finance minister Arun Jaitley with deputy prime minister of Nepal, Krishna Bahadur Mahara at the South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation meet in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT FILE PHOTO)

In the first high-level engagement with the Indian leadership, Nepal’s deputy prime minister (DPM) and foreign affairs minister, Krishna Bahadur Mahara will embark on a three-day visit to New Delhi from Sunday.

Soon after he took charge as DPM and foreign minister, his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj had congratulated Mahara and invited him to New Delhi.

Mahara’s visit comes after Nepal successfully conducted two rounds of local polls even as demands of Madhes-based parties were yet to be met after year-long negotiations.

The visit comes as there has also been immense pressure from China on the previous Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘ Prachanda’ and present Sher Bahadur Deuba governments to work closely with Beijing in key areas like connectivity, energy, trade, commerce and tourism, among others.

The previous government had signed a framework agreement on One Belt One Road (OBOR) with Beijing and the present government had committed to implement the agreement and formed three separate high-level mechanisms to execute the initiative.

Recently, a Chinese delegation had pressed Kathmandu to implement the past accords and understandings reached with Beijing, including the OBOR agreement.

India had abstained from the nearly 30-country transcontinental connectivity and infrastructure initiative devised by China, saying it violated sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Besides meeting Indian leadership and committing to work with it as the previous Nepali governments, Mahara will also discuss the upcoming India visit of Prime Minister Deuba, possibly by the end of July, his office said.

Deuba has agreed to visit India first as his first bilateral visit after assuming office after Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated and invited him.

This is a visit to strengthen our ties with India and will prepare ground for the PM’s India visit, his advisor, Yubraj Chaulagain told HT.

Apart from reviewing and assessing India-funded projects, apprising about the latest political developments and laying ground for the visit of PM Deuba, Mahara will seek India’s support for Nepal’s bid for UN Human Rights Council membership.

First Published: Jun 30, 2017 10:51 IST