Koirala invites Manmohan Singh to Nepal

By Anil Giri, IANS,

Kathmandu : Nepal’s newly elected Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has invited his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to visit the countryas there has been no prime minister-level visit from India for 17 years.

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In a meeting at Prime Minister Office Friday, Koirala handed over the invitation to Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae.

According to Dinesh Bhattarai, the prime minister’s foreign affairs adviser, Koirala told the Indian envoy that with Constituent Assembly elections successfully held and a new democratic government installed, it was the right time for the Indian prime minister to visit Nepal.

Rae said that he would communicate the invitation to New Delhi.

The last Indian prime minister to pay a state visit to Nepal was I.K. Gujaral who came in June 1997. Atal Bihari Vajpayee also came to Kathmandu in January 2001 while he was heading the NDA government. But that was to attend the 11th SAARC Summit.

During Friday’s meeting, the Indian envoy also handed over Manmohan Singh’s congratulatory message to Koirala on his election as prime minister.

During the meeting, Koirala praised the excellent bilateral relations between Nepal and India where and said both sides should work together to further strengthen these ties.

Koirala also discussed possible Indian assistance in Nepal’s rural health care sector, extension of railway services, investment of Indian private sector’s aid in various sectors, jointly developing the hydro power and Indian support in Nepal’s agro sector.

Similarly, the Indian envoy expressed readiness to work closely in security, economic development, trade, commerce and diplomatic sectors, sources said.

(Anil Giri can be contatcted at [email protected])