Nepal Prime Minister K P Oli today termed his visit to India as “significant and fruitful”, saying his trip helped in clearing misunderstanding and mistrust, and strengthening mutual trust. Last week was Oli’s first visit to India after taking charge as Nepal’s prime minister for the second time in February this year. He visited India in February 2016 during his first term. “My official visit to India was significant and fruitful,” Oli said at the Tribhuvan International Airport upon his arrival.
The visit has further strengthened bilateral relations between Nepal and India, Oli told the reporters. “The bilateral relations will move forward in a new direction on the basis of equality and mutual interest,” said Oli. “We have agreed to expedite past agreements and understandings reached between the two countries,” he pointed out.
“The visit has helped in clearing misunderstanding and mistrust and strengthening mutual trust and understanding,” Oli added. During the talks the two countries agreed to conduct feasibility studies regarding construction of Raxaul- Kathmandu railway line and operating Nepalese steamers to transport goods and people from Nepal to other countries, he said.
Other important agreements have been reached in cooperation in agriculture and hydropower sectors. Many observers see Oli as favouring a closer relationship between Nepal and China. However, the issue of China-Nepal ties was not discussed during the delegation-level talks. Oli’s first tenure as prime minister in 2015-16 saw protests by Indian-origin Madeshi people in the southern Terai (plains) region over the new Constitution of Nepal.
The Madhesis say the new Constitution is discriminatory to their interests. They had blocked major trading points between India and Nepal, preventing goods from reaching the landlocked country. The months-long blockade had led to souring of the ties between the two countries.