New Delhi: SM Krishna to visit Nepal

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SM Krishna
New Delhi, April 19: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will pay a three-day visit from tomorrow to Nepal, which is witnessing a political deadlock that has stalled the progress in the peace process and hindered the drafting of a new constitution by next month's deadline.

The visit also comes amidst increased anti-India activities of Maoists, an ally of the current Jhalanath Khanal government.

Apart from meeting the President and the Prime Minister of Nepal, Krishna will "visit Birgunj to lay the foundation stone of the Terai Roads Project and of the Integrated Check Post which are being constructed with Indian cooperation", a MEA release said here today.

This would be Krishna's second visit to Nepal after assuming the charge of the ministry and first after Khanal took over as the Prime Minister.

The visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level interaction between the two countries, the release said.

Krishna's visit is being considered as significant as it comes at a time when Nepal's coalition government is horn-locked over the issue of cabinet expansion.

During the visit, the minister will also take up the issue of mounting anti-India campaign by the Maoists, who are now part of the government, and the growing attacks on Indian companies.

Incidents like showing black flags to Indian envoy, shouting anti-India slogans and even defacing Indian flags at public places by the Maoist cadres have intensified and Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood has already raised the issue with Nepalese authorities.

Sood is learnt to have told Maoist chief Prachanda and the Prime Minister that such incidents cannot possibly improve relations with India.

PTI

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