PM Deuba’s India Visit: Food control, trade and development projects top the agenda


SURYACHANDRA BASNET/ BISHMARAJ OJHA, KATHMANDU, Aug 22: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara has said the agenda have been set for the bilateral talks with a view to making the Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s state visit to India successful.

PM Deuba is embarking on a five-day state visit to India from tomorrow at the friendly invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

PM Deuba’s spouse Dr Arzu Rana, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Ministers, lawmakers, government secretaries and high-ranking officials would accompany the PM, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Talking to RSS at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here today, DPM Mahara shared that the issues relating to inundation in areas in the Terai area, flood control, bilateral trade and development projects would figure the talks between the prime ministers of two neighbors.

During the five-day visit, PM Deuba is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President of India, M Venkaian Naidu separately besides holding a formal meeting with his Indian counterpart Modi.

Stating that the wide range of pertinent issues top the agenda for discussion during PM Deuba’s India visit, DPM Mahara explained, “Agreements would be made on issues like cooperation on post-quake reconstruction efforts, construction and expansion of road connectivity in the Terai, upgradation of Mechi Bridge, combating the smuggling of narcotic drug and quality measurement of goods among others.”

The Indian Prime Minister during his telephone talks to PM Deuba few days ago expressed sorrow over the losses of lives and properties by the recent floods and landslides in Nepal and announced grants of INR 250 million for Nepal from the Government of India.

The Foreign Ministry has said agreements on the construction of shelter for those displaced by the recent incidents of natural disaster, reconstruction of heritage sites of archaeological importance and promotion of education and health sector will be signed with India under the same grants assistance declaration during the PM’s visit.

“However, an agreement on the Arun III Hydro Power Project is possible only after the completion of bilateral discussions to that end,” the DPM said, adding that bilateral discussions were likely to be held regarding the implementation of past agreements. Besides that, discussions about the issues relating to protection of river dams along the Nepal-India border and conservation of the Chure region are likely to take place during the visit, according to DPM Mahara.

In response to a query about the necessity to think about taking the bilateral relations ahead through a new angle in the context when anti-Indian public statements are often seen in Nepal, he said, “The conclusion of both countries is that there is de-escalation in such situation in the latest time. Both neighbors really never want that and they wish for the establishment of respectful bilateral relations, instead.”

In his replay about a question about a possible way to settle the fresh dispute between Nepal’s two close giant neighbors India and China, he said the dispute should be settled amicably through talks and negotiations. “Nepal is crystal clear about its opinion that a solution to the problem should be sought trough bilateral talks and negotiations and this view is respected and understood by both countries as well.”

Furthermore, the agendas include discussions on review of old agreements reached between Nepal and India in relation to construction of Laxmanpur and Koshi embankments, said Mahara.

The DPM further informed, “Work is underway between both Nepal and India on some technical aspects for the effective implementation of much-awaited Pancheshwor Multipurpose Project.”

Imminent group comprising experts from both the countries are working effectively on reviewing previous agreements and treaties between the countries, as stated by him.
DPM Mahara acknowledged suggestions from foreign relations experts on the implementation of agreements and treaties inked between Nepal and India, and on taking efforts in expanding bilateral relations and seeking mutual support.

PM Deuba is setting out on the first foreign visit after his election to the post on June 6. RSS 

Prime Minister Deuba to visit India from August 23