KATHMANDU, Dec 20: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has asked visiting Chinese delegate Liu Qibao, political bureau and secretariat member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), to facilitate the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepal.
During a meeting held with Liu at the prime minister's official residence in Baluwatar on Monday, Prime Minister Dahal made the request, arguing that exchange of high-level visits is important to enhance relations between the two countries.
“We are eagerly waiting to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepal. I want you to facilitate the visit,” the prime minister's foreign affairs advisor Dr Rishi Raj Adhikari quoted Prime Minister Dahal as saying.
Prime Minister Dahal expressed satisfaction over China's readiness to open different transit points with Nepal including Korala and Kimathanka and extend support to enhance connectivity between the two countries via rail network.
“The prime minister has asked Chinese support to connect its railway with Lumbini via Kathmandu,” said Dr Adhikari.
Liu, who is also the chief of CPC's Publicity Department, had told Prime Minister Dahal that China is ready to extend any support to Nepal. The two leaders exchanged views on matters of mutual interests including the development of infrastructure, improvement of connectivity, promotion of trade and investment, maintaining high level contacts and visits and cooperation on tourism sector, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Liu, who arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday on a three-day official visit, also held meeting with Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba at the latter's residence in Budhanilkantha. The Chinese delegation had informed Deuba that the Chinese side will soon open the Kodari highway that has remained closed since the mega earthquake devastated it last year.
While thanking China for its generous support to Nepal, Deuba on the occasion had reiterated Nepal's commitment to one-China policy, according to a press statement issued by NC.
Liu also paid a courtesy call on CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Liu attended the opening ceremony of the 7th China Festival in Kathmandu jointly organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation of Nepal, Ministry of Culture of China and the Embassy of China in Nepal.
On Sunday, Liu paid a courtesy call on President Bhandari and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, and addressed a special function organized at the President's Office at Shital Niwas to release Nepali edition of a book entitled Chinese governance system originally written by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Speaking on the occasion, Liu informed that China had already started investing in Nepal as a part of its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. While arguing that OBOR initiative is a part of their dream to make other countries prosperous along with China, he assured that China would extend all necessary support to expedite projects mutually beneficial to both Nepal and China.