August 18, 2016 11:59 PM NPT
Says PM could follow in September
KATHMANDU, Aug 19: Deputy Prime Minister Bimalendra Nidhi left for Delhi on Thursday with an invitation to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to visit Nepal. DPM Nidhi visited the southern neighbor as a special envoy of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Talking to reporters at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) before leaving for China, Nidhi said that the main objective of his visit is to further enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Nidhi is said to be meeting Indian President Mukherjee on Friday and hand over to him an invitation letter sent by President Bidya Devi Bhandari for Nepal visit. Likewise, Nidhi is said to be meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other Indian leaders on Friday and Saturday.
"My visit will focus on high-level exchanges between Nepal and India. My visit will be a preparatory one for making necessary arrangement for the visit of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to India in near future. During the visit, I will also talk about the possible agendas to be discussed during prime minister's visit to India," said Nidhi.
He said that the prime minister could visit India in September, before he visits the US to attend UN General Assembly.
"Likewise, I will work to make possible President Bidya Devi Bhandari's visit to India," said DPM Nidhi.
The government last Thursday had decided to send DPMs Nidhi and Krishna Bahadur Mahara to India and China respectively as special envoys of the Prime Minister to strengthen relations with the two neighboring countries. As per the decision, DPM Mahara is in China since Monday. During the visit, Mahara has handed over an invitation letter to the Chinese government sent by President Bidya Devi Bhandari to her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for Nepal visit, and discussed bilateral issues with Chinese PM Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday and Wednesday.
India looks forward to work closely with new government
Meanwhile, spokesman of India's Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup, said that India is looking foward to working closely with the new government in Nepal.
Speaking during a regular press briefing in New Delhi on Thursday, Swarup said that Nidhi's visit will provide an opportunity to India to understand priorities of the new government in Nepal.
"The visit of special envoy of the prime minister of Nepal will be the first high-level visit to India after the formation of new government in Nepal. The visit by special envoy provides an opportunity to understand priorities of the new government in Nepal and to discuss ways in which we can strengthen our multi-faceted ties with Nepal," said Swarup.
"India attaches the highest priority to its relations with Nepal and looks forward to working closely with the new government in Nepal," he added.