Prachanda arrives; connectivity, trade cooperation on agenda : The Tribune India

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Prachanda arrives; connectivity, trade cooperation on agenda

Will meet PM today; several pacts likely

Prachanda arrives; connectivity, trade cooperation on agenda

Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi receives Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 31

Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda arrived here on Wednesday on his first overseas visit after assuming office for the third time.

He was received by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi. He held a meeting with National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra in the run-up to his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. His meeting with PM Modi will be followed by delegation-level talks, a luncheon and joint press briefings.

Besides signing several MoUs and agreements on trade and energy, the two Prime Ministers are expected to remotely inaugurate the railway yard in Biratnagar, the Jaynagar-Janakpur railway that has been expanded up to Bijalpura, and integrated check posts in Biratnagar and Nepalgunj.

What’s more on the table

PMs Modi and Prachanda are expected to inaugurate the railway yard in Biratnagar and Jaynagar-Janakpur railway

Prachanda is expected to make a pitch for extra entry points from India to Janakpur, Bhairahawa & Nepalgunj

Prachanda is also expected to make a pitch for extra entry points from India to Janakpur, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar to ensure passenger inflow to its new, but empty airports. The issue has been raised by Nepal since PM Modi’s visit to Kathmandu in 2014.

In an indication of the agenda, Prachanda is accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prakash Saud, Minister for Finance Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister for Energy Prakash Jwala and Commerce Minister Ramesh Rijal, besides senior officials.

A team from the Nepal Foreign Ministry is already here to bridge the gaps on some bilateral issues, including an amended and consolidated transit treaty.

Prachanda will also visit Ujjain and Indore.

However, from India’s point of view, the current Nepal government will see three Prime Ministers in five years if the current agreement holds. Prachanda will be the Prime Minister for the first two years followed by Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba for the next two years. Madhav Kumar Nepal of the Nepal Socialist Party will serve as Prime Minister for a year.

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