India compliments Nepal on multi party democracy: Mukherjee

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Kathmandu, Nov 24 (UNI) Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who arrived here today on an official visit, has appreciated the progress made during the transition period of Nepal for democracy.

''On behalf of the people and government of India and on my own behalf, I compliment the people of Nepal for turning a new page in the transition to multiparty democracy in the country's history through the successful completion of Constituent Assembly elections,'' said Mr Mukherjee at the airport.

Mr Mukherjee, who is leading an 11-member delegation, is said to discuss entire gamut of bilateral issues including trade, transit, border problems and cooperation in water resources, peace process, review of the past treaties and agreements.

He said India will continue to stand by the Nepali people in their transition to multiparty democracy and to extend such support as they desire.

Mr Mukherjee is in Kathmandu at the invitation of his Nepali counterpart Upendra Yadav. He is scheduled to meet President Ram Baran Yadav, Vice-President Paramananda Jha, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav, Constituent Assembly Chairman Subash Nemwang, Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala and CPN-UML General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal among others.

Meanwhile, coinciding with Mr Mukherjee's visit, British Minister for International Development Mike Foster also arrived here today on a four-day visit.

Issuing a press statement, Mr Foster said this is an important time for Nepal after the formation of the new government with successful elections of the Constituent Assembly (CA).

The visiting British Minister appealed to all the parties concerned to continue to work together to create a new constitution, and deliver peace and development to the people.

Informed that the UK government is committed to working with the new government, he said he is looking forward to discuss the strategy for peace building and poverty reduction.

Mr Foster said he will meet Prime Minister Dahal, and members of the cabinet and CA members, donors, the private sector and people in communities.

''I will travel to the Terai plains to see the effects of the recent flooding and to the Himalaya region where I will be able see myself the impact of global warming in Nepal,'' said the British Minister in his statement.

UNI XC PD UCS2337

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