M A I N   N E W S

India, Nepal discuss Maoist threat
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 9
India today assured the visiting Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba that it would render all possible assistance to Kathmandu in tackling the Maoist insurgency.

Mr Deuba, who arrived here yesterday on a five-day visit at a time when there is no Parliament in Nepal and he has no power to legislate, met the top brass of the Indian leadership and discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations.

Mr Deuba met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Shivraj Patil and also called on President APJ Abdul Kalam.

New Delhi is treating the Deuba visit with circumspection in view of the sensitive and complicated nature of the current situation in Nepal.

The two countries today signed two agreements in the presence of Dr Manmohan Singh and Mr Deuba. These related to an MoU on cooperation in the field of weather forecasting and an agreement on cooperation in the fields of culture and sports.

Under the MoU, an INSAT ground receiving facility would be set up in Nepal under Indian grant assistance. The total estimated cost for the project is Rs 53 lakh. The facility would be of use to Nepal in the field of weather forecasting. India has already set up similar facilities in Maldives and Sri Lanka.

The MoU was signed by Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, on the Indian side and Acting Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, on the Nepalese side.

The agreement on cooperation in the fields of culture and sports was signed by Foreign Secretaries of India and Nepal and would provide the framework for institutionalised cooperation between the two countries in these areas.

Under the agreement, the two sides shall work out periodical programmes of culture and sports cooperation, specifying concrete activities and the organisational and financial terms of their realisation. A joint working group will be constituted which will meet periodically for the purpose of evaluating cooperation and concluding the programmes. 

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