Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari to visit India next month

New Delhi, Apr 22: In her first overseas trip after assuming charge, Nepal's first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari will visit India next month during which a range of important issues are likely to be deliberated upon by both sides.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Bhandari will be here at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee and that India was looking forward to welcome her.

Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari to visit India next month

Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had visited India in February which was also his first foreign trip after becoming the premier in October.

"India shares unique civilisational links with Nepal. Our age-old ties have been constantly nurtured by frequent exchanges of high-level visits. We look forward to welcoming President of Nepal Vidya Devi Bhandari next month in India on her first official visit abroad since taking office," Swarup said.

He said Bhandari has also evinced an interest in participating in the Simhasth Kumbh which is being held in Ujjain in May. The Nepalese President will be staying in President's House during the New Delhi leg of her trip.

The bilateral ties between the two countries had faced turbulence in the recent past due to the months-long Madhesi agitation and subsequent blockade which halted the supply of essential goods to landlocked Nepal from India.

Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, have been demanding the new Constitution be amended to include their concerns about adequate political representation and redrawing of federal boundaries.

Swarup said Foreign Minister of Mongolia L Purevsuren will pay an official visit to India from April 27-29 during which he will co-chair the 5th India-Mongolia Joint Committee on Cooperation, along with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Mongolia in May last year. Asked about the prime minister's visit to the US in June, Swarup said US President Barack Obama during his meeting with Modi during nuclear security summit in Washington had expressed a wish for a bilateral summit to review the progress of India-US bilateral ties.

Replying to a question on the Kohinoor issue, the spokesperson said, "Government of India remains committed to bringing back in an amicable fashion the valuable artifact which has strong roots in our history.

"Government of India will take all steps which are necessary to bring back the Kohinoor in an amicable manner."

Asked about observations on Maldives by Commonwealth's human rights and democracy oversight body CMAG, Swarup said India was for stability and development of the island nation.

"India has always supported stability, development and democracy and pluralism in the Maldives," he said, adding India's long-standing position was recently articulated during Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's recent visit here.

"India is a member of the CMAG and after its deliberations, a concluding statement has been issued. Obviously being a member of the CMAG, India is party to the statement and it speaks for itself," he said.


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