Kathmandu: Nepal Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat will travel to New Delhi on Sunday to prepare ground for the visit of Prime Minister Prachanda to India, his
first foreign trip after assuming office.
Prime Minister Prachanda is embarking on a four-day state visit to India from September 15 at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
Mahat will hold talks with senior Indian leaders, including his counterpart Sushma Swaraj and discuss about the preparations and agenda of the Prime Minister's forthcoming official visit, the first foreign trip of Prachanda after taking charge of the government last month.
This will also be the first foreign trip of Foreign Minister Mahat after assuming office. During the visit, Mahat is likely to discuss various areas of cooperation with the Indian officials, sources said. Nepal's relationship with India had soured after a months-long border blockade last year by ethnic minority protesters over the new Constitution which they claimed marginalised them.
Kathmandu accused India of imposing an "unofficial blockade" on the landlocked nation in support of the Madhesis, who share close cultural, linguistic and family links with Indians across the border.
Meanwhile, a senior Madhesi leader said that the Prime Minister should address the current problem facing the country before embarking on a visit to India. "The Prime Minister should have resolved the current political problem before leaving for New Delhi," said Upendra Yadav, chairman of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Nepal, one of the agitating Madhesi parties.
"The prestige and dignity of the country would be in stake if the Prime Minister visits the southern neighbour without addressing the current problem," he said. He urged the Prime Minister to initiate the process of amending the Constitution for addressing the demands raised by the Madhesi Front.