Kamal Thapa flying to New Delhi tomorrow

Kathmandu, October 15

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa will visit New Delhi on Saturday with a mission to get halted essential supplies resumed and mending bilateral ties with India that are at their lowest ebb following India’s displeasure with Nepal’s new constitution and subsequent disruption of cargo freights apparently due to agitation at border checkpoints.

During a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thapa said he had received an invitation from India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for a three-day visit to India, beginning Saturday. He would return on Monday.

“With this visit, I believe that the disruption in supply of essential goods would come to an end and bilateral relations would improve,” said Thapa.

Admitting that some bitterness has crept in in bilateral relations due to the recent difficulties in supplies, Thapa said it was just a temporary phenomenon. “I hope our bilateral ties will reach new heights,” he said, adding, “I am enthusiastically waiting to meet EAM of India Sushma Swaraj.” “I will seek India’s support to end the disruptions at borders,” Thapa added.

On Monday, the government had authorised him to lead a high-level official team to talk to India to resolve the crisis.

Nepal’s Ambassador to India and senior officials of the ministries of foreign affairs, home affairs, and commerce and supplies would be accompanying Thapa, said officials.

A Cabinet meeting held this morning decided to expedite diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis and seek alternative ways to address the fuel crisis in Nepal. Thapa said the government had been sharing with Kathmandu-based foreign diplomats the looming humanitarian crisis in Nepal following the disruption in smooth supplies of essential goods from India. “Such discussions with foreign envoys will continue,” he added.

He also appealed to the agitating Madhesi parties to postpone and change the mode of their protests, as major festivals are approaching and people across the country are suffering due to their sit-in protests at border entry points.

Formal talks invite to protesters likely

KATHMANDU: A meeting  of Council of Ministers on Thursday decided to formally call all the agitating parties for dialogue by ending their agitation. According to Minister for Agriculture Development Haribol Gajurel, the Cabinet also decided to seek alternative ways to restore supply of essentials.

He said it also decided to form a joint talks team to hold dialogue with the agitating parties. The Cabinet also decided to appoint Indra Bhandari as prime minister’s personal secretary and Pramod Dahal as his press adviser.