India, Nepal keen to remove distrust

by International | 30-03-2018 | 578 views

India is confident that Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's upcoming visit to New Delhi will help the two countries remove the distrust that had marked the ties between the two nations during his stint at the helm in 2015-2016.Official sources said the very fact that Oli, known for his pro-China stance, had chosen India as his first port of call after assuming office last month clearly suggested that he was keen to mend fences with New Delhi.

Oli, who had publicly criticised India for interfering in Nepal's internal affairs and accused it of toppling his government in the past, had pledged to forge a new partnership with New Delhi after his electoral victory. Sources said Oli would begin his three-day visit to India from 6 April. During the course of his visit, the 66-year-old veteran will stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan and meet President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a galaxy of Opposition leaders.Asked if any agreements were expected to be signed during the visit, sources said the two countries were in touch in this regard. "The focus of the visit will be on economic and developmental aspects of the will be a business-like visit,'' they added.Soon after the historic victory of the Left Alliance in the Parliamentary and Provincial elections in Nepal, Modi had despatched External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Kathmandu to reassure Oli and his colleagues of India's commitment to work with the democratically elected government. Swaraj had also extended an invitation to Oli to visit India as early as possible.But India was not too sure if Oli would stick to Nepal's time-honoured tradition of every new head of the government undertaking his first overseas visit to India, given his clear preference for China vis a vis India.Since Nepal does not have a full-fledged ambassador in New Delhi at present, acting Ambassador Bharat Kumar Regmi, who was on leave in Kathmandu, has returned to India to finalise the preparations for Oli's visit.

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