Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav arrives Monday on state visit

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav will arrive in India Monday on a four-day state visit, which will be marked with the signing of several bilateral agreements.

‘India attaches the highest importance to the visit, which is of special significance,’ external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash told reporters.


This will be the first ever foreign visit for Yadav, who was elected president in July 2008.


A former medical student in India, Yadav will be arriving Feb 15, but the operational part will begin Feb 16 when he will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt.


A number of memoranda of understanding are expected to be signed, especially in the areas of infrastructure, human resource development and aviation.


An air services agreement will probably be inked, as the Indian cabinet had approved the deal Friday.


The agreement will make it open skies for air cargo and increase the number of flights between the two countries.


The Nepali president will hold delegation level talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during which they will discuss bilateral issues related to trade, economic and political issues.


Yadav will also meet Vice-President Hamid Ansari, United Progressive Alliance (UP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Home Minister P. Chidambaram, and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.


The Nepali leader will also be visiting Haridwar to take part in the Maha Kumbh celebrations.


‘Nepal is currently going through a process of democratic transition. There is a peace process going on,’ said Prakash, adding that India was ‘supportive’ of the process.


During the last few months, the Maoists in Nepal had again started to spout anti-India rhetoric, which had led External Affairs Minister Krishna to lodge a protest with Maoist chief Prachanda last month in Kathmandu.


India is interested in further intensifying economic ties, as well as in increasing its developmental assistance.


During Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s visit last year, both countries had inked major projects with a total outlay of Rs. 2,000 crore. Similarly, when Krishna went to Nepal, a memorandum of understanding was signed for construction of roads in the Terai region costing over Rs.800 crore.


India accounts for 58 percent of Nepal’s foreign trade, with the South Asian giant also being the largest foreign investment with Rs.900 crore.

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