President to visit India soon: Envoy Upadhyaya

Published On: March 4, 2017 12:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 4: Nepali ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay has said that President Bidya Devi Bhandari will 'soon' travel to India on a state visit. 

Addressing an interaction organized by Reporters' Club in Kathmandu on Friday, Ambassador Upadhyay said both the countries are currently working to fix the date for the visit. "Both the countries are making necessary preparations for the president's visit to India. Our homework is already in the final stages. A date will be announced very soon," said Upadhyay.

Although Upadhyay did not disclose the exact date for the visit, sources said both the countries are working to schedule the visit for the third week of March. But sources said the date of the visit will also depend upon how soon the new Indian envoy to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri assumes office in Kathmandu.

The upcoming visit to India by Nepal's head of the state is being seen as an indication of ameliorating relations between the two countries that reached to its historic low during the several months of economic blockade by India in 2015.

An earlier visit to India by President Bhandari, scheduled for May 9, 2016, was cancelled by Nepal in the last minute. Amid souring bilateral relations between the two countries, the then KP Oli-led government had also recalled ambassador Upahdyay, who was later re-appointed to the post by the current government.
No formal explanation was provided behind the eleventh-hour cancellation of the visit of the president and recalling of the envoy. 

As the bilateral relations between Nepal and India improved significantly especially after the formation of the new government-led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee visited Nepal on a three-day state visit on November 2, 2016. "We do not have any problems in our bilateral relations. All kinds of issues we had before have already been resolved. This is a positive development," said Ambassador Upadhyay.

Speaking on the occasion, Upadhyay also said that India has not lodged any dissatsifaction with him about Nepal's preparations to hold local elections on May 14. "India has not protested against election in Nepal. We cannot blame others for our failure as the decision to hold the election is taken by Nepal' parliament and council of ministers," he said.

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