Sunday 19th May 2024
Sunday 19th May 2024
गृहपृष्ठSpecialIndian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla set to visit Nepal towards end of November

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla set to visit Nepal towards end of November

During his first visit to Nepal after becoming External Affairs Secretary, Shringla set to prioritize normalization of soured relations between Nepal and India in recent months due to border disputes

KATHMANDU – Indian Secretary of External Affairs Harsh Vardhan Shringla will be visiting Nepal at the end of November.  Preparation is underway for the Indian Foreign Secretary’s visit following the recent trips of Indian RAW chief Samant Goel and Indian Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane as part of efforts to normalize relations that have worsened in recent months between Nepal and India.

However, neither the Indian government nor Nepal has formally confirmed the Indian Foreign Secretary’s visit. According to Indian daily The Hindustan Times, Foreign Secretary Shringla is set to visit Kathmandu to improve India’s ties with Nepal.

Both sides are still working on finalizing the exact date of the visit, according to sources. India has been making efforts to make its relations better with Nepal, as well as other neighbors in the South Asian region.  This would be Shringla’s first visit to Nepal after being appointed as the External Affairs Secretary.

He is scheduled to meet his Nepali counterpart Bharat Paudyal, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and President Bidhya Devi Bhandari. During his visit, the two sides are likely to have their first formal talks on recently surfaced border disputes that have worsened ties between the two neighbor countries.

The Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project of Mahakali River along with other hydropower projects will also be highlighted in the bilateral discussions during his visit. Relations between the two countries worsened after India issued a new map including Kalapani in its territory. In response, Nepal issued its revised map in May that included Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura. Angered by Nepal’s move, India turned reluctant to hold any formal dialogues for a few months.

However, Prime Minister Oli had made a telephone call to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 to congratulate him on Indian Independence Day, which also became an opportunity to hold discussions between the two prime ministers. The phone conversation also led to a resumption of informal dialogues, as well as the visit of Indian Raw Chief Goel as Modi’s envoy to Nepal.  In a recent interview on Nepal television, Prime Minister Oli vowed to reclaim the Nepali territories that India has also been claiming as its own.

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