Indian prez begins state visit to Nepal

Published On: November 3, 2016 01:40 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Highlights of the first day
Held talk with Prez Bhandari 
- Attended an Indian embassy reception
- Held separate meetings with Vice-President Pun and PM Dahal 
- Attended a dinner reception hosted by Prez Bhandari 

Thursday's Schedule 
- Visit Pashupatinath Temple
- Attend KU and KMC functions 
- Meet with leaders of political parties 
- Hold a joint meeting with Madhesi leaders
- Attend a reception organized by PM Dahal

Friday Schedule 
Visit Janakpur and Pokhara

KATHMANDU, Nov 3: Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has started a three-day state visit to Nepal from Wednesday. 

Mukherjee, who arrived in the capital on Wednesday afternoon from New Delhi at the invitation of President Bidya Devi Bhandari, remained busy throughout the first day of his state visit since his arrival, in meetings with the president, vice-president, prime minister and other leaders. 

President Bhandari received Mukherjee upon his arrival at the VVIP lounge of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). He had landed in Kathmandu at 12:30 pm by a special aircraft of the Indian Air Force. 
It is after a gap of 18 years that an Indian president has visited Nepal and it has been said that Mukherjee's visit is mainly a goodwill visit. The last Indian president to visit Nepal was KR Narayanan, who came here in May 1998.
Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat, among other top officials had also reached the VVIP lounge of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to welcome the Indian president. A contingent of Nepal Army accorded a guard of honor at TIA to the visiting Indian president.

From the airport, Indian President Mukherjee was escorted to the President's office, Sheetal Niwas, amid heavy security where both the presidents were scheduled to hold an official meeting. At the meeting, President Bhandari and her Indian counterpart discussed various issues of mutual interest, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Indian President Mukherjee, who is leading a delegation of 60 members, congratulated President Bhandari on the promulgation of the new constitution and stressed amending the new constitution by accommodating aspirations of all the political parties. 

At the meeting, Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, advisors to the President and Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shankar Das Bairagi were also present from the Nepali side, while Minister of State for Defence of India Subhash Bhamre, lawmakers L Ganesan, Jagdambika Pal, Raj Kumar Singh and Bhubaneswar Kalita, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae represented the Indian side.   

Following the meeting, the Indian president reached the Indian Embassy, Lainchaur to attend a reception hosted in his honor by Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae. Vice-President Pun had accompanied the Indian president. 

At the reception, Indian President Mukherjee met with former prime ministers, former chairman of the council of minister, leaders of various political parties, and representatives of various sectors including business community, social groups, and media among others.

After the reception, Indian President Mukherjee went to Hyatt Regency, Chabahil where he held separate meetings with Vice-President Pun and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Mukherjee is staying at the hotel during his state visit. 

After the meetings, Indian President Mukherjee attended a dinner reception hosted by President Bhandari in his honor at Hotel Soaltee. 

On Thursday, the second day of his state visit, the Indian president is scheduled to visit Pashupatinath Temple, attend a function of Kathmandu University at Army Officers Club where he is to be conferred an honorary doctorate, and attend a civic reception hosted by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office. Likewise, he is also scheduled to hold separate meetings with leaders of various political parties and hold a joint-meeting with Madhesi leaders. Following the meeting, the Indian president will attend a dinner reception hosted by Prime Minister Dahal at the Dwarika's Hotel at Battisputali.  

Likewise, on Friday, the last day of his state visit, he is scheduled to fly to Janakpur to visit Ram Janaki Temple and to Pokhara where he will address a function organized by Former Gorkha Soldiers Pension Camp. 
Following his Pokhara visit, the Indian president will return to Kathmandu and head for New Delhi.    

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