Nepal’s Foreign Minister to Visit India on October 17

Nepal’s Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa will visit India on Saturday amid strained relations between the two countries.

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Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav (second from left), administers the oath of office to newly elected Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli (extreme right) at the Presidential building in Kathmandu. (Photo: PTI)

Nepal’s Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa will visit India on Saturday amid strained relations between the two countries.

Ahead of his first visit abroad after assuming office, Thapa said in Kathmandu that he is optimistic about its outcome and it will enhance the relations between the two countries.

“The visit will provide an opportunity to discuss all issues of mutual concern as well as review and further strengthen India-Nepal relations,” Vikas Swarup, Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

During his three-day visit, Thapa will be holding talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. Thapa is also the coordinator of a three-member team formed by the Nepal government to hold talks with Indian authorities to end blockade of key trade points by Indian-origin Madhesi people who are opposed to splitting the country into seven provinces.

On the supplies of commodities to Nepal from the Indian side which were getting affected due to unrest in Nepal, Swarup said Indian trucks are waiting to enter Nepal. It will happen once the political situation in Nepal becomes more conducive.

Giving details of situation at various key entry and exit points between Indian and Nepal, Swarup said out of nine crossing points for carrying commercial cargo on the border, five to six points have been constantly in use and in last 24 hours, 733 commercial vehicles moved through seven crossing points.

Nearly 2,500 trucks are waiting on the Indian side, out of which 1,500-2,000 are at Raxaul and 750 at Sanauli - waiting to cross over. Today is the 21st day of border obstructions, and the 62nd day of unrest.
—Vikas Swarup, Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry

Thapa’s visit comes at a “difficult” time for India and Nepal strained ties after Kathmandu alleged that New Delhi has imposed an economic blockade on the country after the announcement of its new Constitution. The new Constitution is being seen as against the interest of Indian-origin Madhesi community living in the Terai region of the Himalayan nation.

India denies the allegations by Nepal of “choking” and depriving Nepal of essential supplies.

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