Indian president visits in Nepal to promote goodwill between two sides

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/11/2 15:40:47

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday for a three-day state visit to Nepal at the invitation of his Nepali counterpart Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

Mukherjee was accompanied by a high-powered delegation from India including Indian State Defense Minister, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, among others.

The Indian president was scheduled to hold talks with President Bhandari on Wednesday. He will also hold talks with Nepal's vice president, prime minister and other political leaders on issues of mutual interests.

This is the first visit by an Indian president to the Himalayan country after a hiatus of 18 years. The last Indian president to visit the neighboring country was K. R. Narayanan in 1998.

The political leaders of Nepal have expressed confidence that the visit will form a new basis for the bilateral ties between the two neighbors.

Many in Kathmandu have believed that the visit will give an opportunity to reset relations after cooling of ties following the alleged five-month-long border blockade by the Indian side last year.

According to Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, no joint press releases would be issued and no bilateral agreements would be reached as the visit will be mainly focused on promoting goodwill between the two countries.

The visit has also been regarded as a preparation for the outline of Nepali president's visit to India, which was postponed earlier.

Nepal and India started formal diplomatic ties with the signing of the Peace and Friendship Treaty in 1950.

While in Nepal, Mukherjee will also visit the religious shrine Pashupatinath temple, the most sacred temple for Hindus across the world, on Thursday.

The Indian president is also scheduled to visit holy city Janakpur in the southern plain and touristic destination Pokhara on the last day of his visit.

He will fly back to New Delhi on Nov. 4.

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