New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold wide-ranging talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba, who arrived on Wednesday on a four-day visit, his first trip abroad after assuming office in June.
Modi and Deuba will review the entire gamut of bilateral ties on Thursday and are likely to deliberate on ways to further deepen the Indo-Nepal relationship in a range of areas including trade and investment.
Deuba was received at the airport by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, reflecting the importance India attaches to his visit.
"A special welcome for a close neighbour! EAM @SushmaSwaraj receives @PM_Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba on his arrival on a State Visit to India," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted along with a photo of Swaraj greeting Deuba.
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) August 23, 2017
The Nepalese prime minister is expected to apprise Modi of the political situation in his country, particularly on the steps being taken by his government to fulfil aspirations of the Indian-origin Madheshi community.
"The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to both the sides for holding wide-ranging discussions on the issues of mutual interest and advancing age-old special ties of friendship between our two countries," the External Affairs Ministry had said on Monday.
Nepal has been facing a political crisis since the adoption of a new Constitution in September 2015. Madhesis, mostly of Indian origin, have been opposing the new statute as they fear it would marginalise them by dividing the country into seven provinces.
Madhesi protests from October 2015 to February 2016 had resulted in the closure of key trading points with India, triggering shortage of essential supplies in the land-locked country. The blockade of trade points with India ended in February after more than 50 people were killed in clashes with the police.
Deuba took over as prime minister in June 2017. During his four-day visit, he will also travel to Hyderabad and Bodh Gaya. The Nepal PM will also call on the president and the vice-president.
Updated Date: Aug 23, 2017 15:12 PM