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Nepal and India Break Impasse Over Constitution, Make Headway

Nepal’s newly appointed PM, KP Oli, approached India with a request for dialogue to solve political differences.

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The Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Kamal Thapa, met with India’s Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, at Hyderabad House on Sunday. (Photo: MEA)

Nepal’s newly appointed Prime Minister, KP Oli, approached India with a request for dialogue to solve political differences, reports The Indian Express.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Nepal, Kamal Thapa, met with India’s Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, at Hyderabad House on Sunday.

The Indian government agreed to allow 300 trucks with fuel supplies to enter Nepal crossing every India-Nepal border region barring Raxaul, which is a particularly tense area.

Thapa is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later today.

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Swaraj-Thapa Meeting

In the first high-level engagement after the establishment of the new government in Nepal, Swaraj held extensive talks with Thapa, who briefed her about the current political situation in his country and expressed hope of finding a solution to the present turmoil at an early date.

In this regard, he also expressed concern over the obstruction in the supplies from the Indian side, especially petroleum oil lubricants (POL), to which Swaraj told him that the “reduced or closure was due to the obstructions on the Nepalese side by the disaffected section of the Nepalese population,” official sources said.

Thapa requested that efforts should be made to supply the goods from those crossing points that were not affected by the agitation, sources said, adding that Swaraj said it can be done only under the existing border infrastructure capacity constraints.

Swaraj also told Thapa that whenever the disruptions or protests on the Nepalese side have slightly eased India has tried to send supplies across the border and five to six border crossing have been consistently in use but the worst affected entry point has been Rauxul and Birganj, which has been blocked by the agitators.

Indian truckers and other vendors have also expressed fears about their safety, she told Thapa, who is also the coordinator of a three-member team formed by the Nepal government to hold talks with Indian authorities to end the blockade of key trade points by Indian-origin Madhesi people who are opposed to splitting the country into seven provinces.

During the more than two-hour-long talks, Thapa, informed Swaraj about the reconciliation efforts being made by the new Nepal government to settle the outstanding differences through dialogue and ensuring broad-based ownership of Nepal’s new constitution.

Thapa’s remarks came against the backdrop of Oli’s assurance to address the concerns of the Madheshi people about the delimitation of constituencies and representation.

(With PTI inputs)

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