PM most likely to visit India from Feb 19-23

Kathmandu, January 29

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is likely to embark on a five-day official visit to India beginning February 19.

Diplomatic sources told The Himalayan Times that officials of both the countries have finalised the dates for PM Oli’s trip to the southern neighbour.

He was invited by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi when Oli was elected Nepal’s prime minister in October.

Prime minister’s foreign relations expert Gopal Khanal confirmed to THT that PM Oli was most likely to visit India from February 19 to 23.

Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel, meanwhile, is going to New Delhi on February 7 to set the stage for prime minister’s visit and finalise its agenda.

He will also discuss ways to utilise India’s $1 billion Line of Credit for the post-earthquake reconstruction and recovery and another $1 billion pledged for infrastructure projects.

PM’s Chief Adviser Bishnu Rimal told THT that Paudel would be visiting India on the request of External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj, whom he would be meeting on February 7 itself.

Paudel is also scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart Arun Jaitley on February 8.

Before returning home on February 9, Paudel may also meet Indian PM Modi but that meeting is yet to be finalised.

“All the things will be confirmed during the finance minister’s visit,” Rimal added.

Spokesperson for Indian Embassy in Kathmandu Ruby Jaspreet said the date of the PM’s visit was yet to be officially finalised.

Though PM Oli has claimed that he will not visit India until the blockade on Nepal-India border ends, Ministry of External Affairs of India yesterday stated that it was no aware of any such rider.