Nepalese PM arrives in India for first official visit

Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli has arrived in New Delhi on Feb 19, 2016 for a six-day visit to India.
Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli has arrived in New Delhi on Feb 19, 2016 for a six-day visit to India. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI - Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli arrived in New Delhi on Friday (Feb 19) on a six-day visit to India, his first foreign visit after assuming office last October, Xinhua news agency reported.

He is also the first Nepalese premier to pay a visit to India since former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai did in 2011. In 2014, late prime minister Sushil Koirala attended the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"During the visit, we expect discussions on all issues of mutual interest," Indian external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said. "Bilateral cooperation, particularly in the key areas of energy, connectivity and people-to-people linkages will form the main focus of the visit," he said.

The Nepalese delegation includes Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa; Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel; Home Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet; Chief Advisor to the prime minister Bishnu Prasad Rimal; and 13 MPs from various political parties, as well as representatives of Nepal's business community, according to local media reports.

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elations between India and Nepal were strained last year after the latter adopted a new constitution, which was criticized by New Delhi for not giving enough rights to minorities.

Kathmandu later amended the charter following protests and blockade of border by Madhesi people along the India-Nepal border, resulting in severe shortage of fuel and other essential goods.