Nepal President to visit India next week

New Delhi, (IANS) Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari will pay an official visit to India at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee from April 17 to 21, the External Affairs Ministry announced on Wednesday.

This will the first state visit of Bhandari to India after she assumed office in October 2015.

“The upcoming visit reflects the priority that both India and Nepal attach to further strengthening of their age-old, unique, wide-ranging partnership, underpinned by shared historical and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people connections,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

During the visit, Bhandari will meet Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other Union ministers will also call on President Bhandari.

Besides official engagements in New Delhi, the Nepal President will be visiting Gujarat and Odisha.

Bhandari was scheduled to visit India in May last year but then Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli cancelled the visit at the last moment.

The then Nepal cabinet cancelled the visit following political upheaval in the Himalayan nation when Oli’s government was nearly toppled by its Maoist ally.

“The upcoming visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries, and will further deepen the cordial and cooperative ties that exist between India and Nepal,” Wednesday’s External Affairs Ministry statement said.

Medaram Jathara

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