Prime Minister Oli to visit India amid unofficial trade embargo on Nepal

downloadKathmandu, Jan. 6 (Nepal Foreign Affairs)–Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli will travel to New Delhi early next month on his first official foreign visit, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa said on Wednesday.

Speaking to media persons in the Capital, the foreign minister said some agreements would also be signed with India to implement past understandings during his visit, amid diplomatic standoff between India and Nepal after India imposed an unofficial trade embargo on Nepal since Nepal promulgated a new Constitution on September 20 last year.

Backing a section of Madhesi elites who have been demanding Constitutional amendments, the Indian government has been imposing the unofficial trade embargo on Nepal which has crippled ordinary people’s life.

The obstruction of fuel and essential goods at the India-Nepal border points by the Indian government officials has resulted an acute crisis of fuel and essential goods across the country. The border points are controlled and monitored by Indian custom officials and the security personnel for the past three and half months. The Narendra Modi-led Indian government started imposed the unofficial blockade on Nepal when it felt that it was not consulted in the new Constitution in Nepal.

The Delhi establishment felt disappointed when the Nepali political leaders ignored its suggestions to postpone the date of the Constitution promulgation. Foreign Secretary S. Jaishanker’s visit to Nepal as a Special Envoy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of the Constitution promulgation was drawn flak as he exerted unwarranted pressure to Nepali political leaders to postpone the Constitution promulgation date.  However, Nepali leaders promulgated the Constitution with an overwhelming majority of the Constituent Assembly and this bold step was taken as the rare historical show of unity shown by the Nepali leaders against India’s blatant intervention on Nepal’s internal affairs.

“The preliminary preparations for the visit have been completed. India will be the first country for the PM to pay an official visit after assuming the office,”. Thapa said.

He said Mr. Oli will leave for India on an appropriate time as the preliminary preparations have been completed.

When Prime Minister Modi had called Mr. Oli to extend congratulations upon his election to the top executive post he had also invited him to visit India.

Mr. Modi had reiterated his invitation to Mr. Oli during a telephone conversation between the two leaders last week.

Mr. Thapa said that Chinese government has also extended invitation to the Prime Minister for an official visit.

Nepal wants to maintain cordial relationship with both the neighbours, he pointed out.

Replying to a question, Mr. Thapa said that the ongoing blockade by India on Nepal’s southern border will end soon.

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