India-Nepal ties heading for reset with travel air bubble, foreign minister visit on cards
New Delhi, Nov 30: Nepal has been sending some positive signals and is keen on moving forward on its relationship with India.
During the nearly one hour meeting between India's foreign secretary, Harsh Shringla and Nepal's Prime Minister, K P Oli, the discussions were focused around normalising relations, which have been hit due to the Lipulekh boundary row.
Sources tell OneIndia that while Nepal wants the ties to be bettered, it would also like to discuss the border row. The two countries could revive negotiations over the Pancheshwar multi-modal project and also set up a travel air bubble, the source also said.
However India would tread cautiously as China appears to be wielding some influence over Nepal. India on the other hand is also looking forward to the visit by Nepal's foreign minister, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali in December. The dates of the same are currently being worked out.
Indian Army Chief General M M Naravane's recent three-day visit to Nepal was largely aimed at resetting bilateral ties that came under severe strain following a bitter border row between the two countries.
The meeting between Gen Naravane and Oli, who is also the Defence Minister of Nepal, took place at his official residence in Baluwatar, Nepal Army sources said.
Prime Minister Oli said that there has been good friendship between Nepal and India, according to his foreign affairs advisor Rajan Bhattarai.
Oli expressed hope that the problems between the two countries would be resolved through dialogue, Bhattarai said in a tweet after the meeting.
The Nepal Prime Minister mentioned the centuries-old special relations existing between Nepal and India, and the tradition of conferring Honorary General of Army on each other's Army chiefs, Bhattarai said.
The Indian Embassy said that during the meeting, both sides also exchanged views on the extensive bilateral partnership between India and Nepal. Gen Naravane reaffirmed that he would work to further strengthen the defence cooperation between the two countries.