Nepal foreign minister to visit India in December

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
Kathmandu, Nepal Published: Dec 01, 2020, 03.06 PM(IST)

Pradeep Kumar Gyawali Photograph:( AFP )

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India has been involved in a number of projects in the country and plans to operationalise Jayanagar-Kurtha cross-border rail line

Nepal foreign minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali will be visiting India in December, the first such high-level visit from the country to Delhi this year. The visit comes days after India's foreign secretary Harsh Shringla had visited Kathmandu. Shringla's visit was 3rd major visit from India, after the visit of Army Chief and Intelligence chief.

A release from the Indian mission during FS' visit said, "Foreign Secretary conveyed an invitation, from External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to Hon'ble Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali to visit India for the next Joint Commission Meeting."

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The joint commission meeting, which alternates between the two countries, will take place in New Delhi this year. The Fifth Joint Commission Meeting was held in August 2019 in Kathmandu with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visiting the country.

India has been involved in a number of projects in the country and plans to operationalise Jayanagar-Kurtha cross-border rail line. Earlier, both countries inaugurated the Motihari–Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline, the first cross-country pipeline in South Asia. The pipeline can carry two million metric tonnes of petroleum products into Nepal and so far has led to a saving of over 800 million Nepali rupees.

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The visit comes, even as this year saw strained ties between New Delhi and Kathmandu, after Nepal Government led by PM KP Sharma Oli issued a new map of the country that showed Indian territories as Nepali territories. This had irked New Delhi, which called the development "unjustified cartographic assertion".

Chinese influence is also another issue, that New Delhi is closely watching. Chinese envoy in Nepal has been openly and unabashedly engaging in the crisis on the ruling Nepal Communist Party, something that has been under the scanner in the country itself.

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