India, Nepal discuss extradition treaty, peace process


New Delhi: India Tuesday discussed a host of issues, including the revision of friendship and trade treaties and a revised extradition pact, when External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna held talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sujata Koirala.

Support TwoCircles

India attaches the highest importance to ties with Nepal which is currently undergoing democratic transformation, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash told reporters after the talks.

India is willing to provide support to this peace process in any way Nepal wants, the spokesperson said.

Koirala’s five-day visit that began Monday is aimed at firming up the agenda for the forthcoming visit of Nepal’s Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to New Delhi Aug 18.

The two ministers discussed an entire gamut of bilateral issues, including trade and investment, water resources, border management, hydro-electric projects and developmental cooperation between the two countries.

The two sides also exchanged notes on reviewing the 1950 India-Nepal Friendship Treaty and discussed the prospects of a revision in the India-Nepal Trade Treaty, which comes up for renewal in 2012.

Koirala apprised Krishna of the latest political developments and the continuing standoff between Prime Minister Nepal and Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda over a host of issues.

The former guerrillas Monday vowed to keep up their siege on parliament – a move that could derail the promulgation of a new constitution next summer.

The Indian side emphasised the need to sign a new extradition treaty that could be useful in arresting criminals who cross the border and in curbing other cross-border criminal activities.

The expansion of economic ties figured prominently in Koirala’s talks with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Koirala made a strong pitch for greater Indian investment in the Himalayan state.

This is the first visit to India by Koirala, the daughter of five-time former Nepali prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala, since she became foreign minister.