India visit to bring friendship back on track: Nepal PM

| Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 20:40
First Published |
KP Sharma Oli

Oli says the government does not have any specific agenda of his visit | Photo: IANS

Kathmandu: A day ahead of his state visit to India, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said his visit will clear the misunderstanding that developed recently between the two neighbours and bring India-Nepal friendship back on track.

Briefing media persons here on Thursday about his six-day India visit, Oli said the government does not have any specific agenda or proposals to be made during his visit.

"This visit is being organised amid complex circumstances... the major objective is to clear a few misunderstandings that surfaced between the two neighbours in the last few months and taking the bilateral ties to new heights," the prime minister said.

"We want friendship, co-existence and mutual respect from India and we must continue this age-old relation on an equal footing... we are conscious about our interest," he added.

(Also Read: Nepal PM’s visit to normalise bilateral relations: Indian envoy)

Refuting speculations about agreement on various pending projects, Oli stressed on creating a favourable and trust-worthy environment for strengthening the historic tie for implementation of development projects.

Observing that his upcoming visit that begins on Friday holds great importance for both sides, Oli said that taking the bilateral relations to a new heights and beginning of a new page in bilateral ties is another prime focus.

"We have some expectations... and great expectation from India... that is friendly behaviour from the Indian side. We also offer and commit the same on our side," he said.

"Investment in Nepal is secured, profitable and guaranteed ... I will tell the Indian business community in my interaction," said Oli adding that "We don't have any intention to add mud to water any more".

Oli's visit comes at a time when Nepal is struggling to get back to normal from an almost six-month-long Madhesi agitation and blockading of the India-Nepal border by the protestors that led to an acute scarcity of food, fuel and medicines in the Himalayan nation.

The prime minister said the invitation by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was an initiative to take the friendship to a new height on the basis of mutual respect and co-existence.

He said India has already welcomed Nepal's new constitution which was promulgated on September 20 last year. "India invited the PM who was elected under the constitutional provision... that means India has welcomed the constitution in Nepal."

No controversial agreements will be signed during the visit, said the PM adding that "My visit will lay ground for mutual trust and confidence".

"There has been some damage in bilateral relations and my duty is to repair it," he said.

Dwelling on the anti-Constitution agitation by the Madhesis, Oli said the issue will be resolved only through dialogue. "A high-level political body will be formed by this evening to resolve the disputable issues," he said.

The Nepali head of the government, who is embarking on the India visit with a 46-member delegation, further said that no agreement against national welfare will be concluded during his visit.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the prime minister will hold an official meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20. He will also pay courtesy calls on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.

Oli said: "My government does not believe in diplomacy but in honesty and friendship. We do not believe in polished language but we believe in being practical."

"We do not use any card against each other but we just want to see mutual respect from both our neighbours," he added.

"Yes, there are some pending issues before us to accomplish but we need an advanced level of understanding to complete them ... we need to resolve them through the practical way."

This is Oli's first foreign visit after assuming the office of prime minister in October last year. He will return to Nepal on February 24.

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