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PM Modi meets Nepal PM Oli, discusses India-Nepal ties

February 20, 2016 15:19 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held comprehensive talks with his Nepalese counterpart K P Oli, who is on a six-day visit in New Delhi, during which a range of issues of mutual interest, including trade and political situation in Nepal, figured.

Prime Minister Modi with the Prime Minister of Nepal K P Sharma Oli, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi. Photograph: PIB

In his first overseas trip after assuming charge of the top office in October last year, Oli, accompanied by a 77-member delegation, arrived in New Delhi on Friday afternoon with a major focus on mending ties hit by issues relating to the Himalayan nation's new Constitution.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted, "Stepping forward into the future. PM @narendramodi welcomes PM KP Sharma Oli at Hyderabad House", along with a picture of the two leaders.

Modi and Oli reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relationship during the talks. Earlier, Oli was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan where Modi was also present.

Before the PM-level talks, Swaraj called on Oli, during which he conveyed to her that Nepal is and will remain a "reliable" friend of India.

Official sources said Oli told Swaraj that he wants to "move forward in the relationship which is not man-made but entirely natural and civilizational."

Swaraj said the visit will deepen the trust between the two countries.

Swaraj and Oli also discuused reconstruction efforts in Nepal which was hit by a devatasting earthquake in April last year, sources said.

"They discussed political issues, reconstruction assistance, SAARC satellite and bilateral cooperation. Oli said he wants to move forward in the relationship which is not man-made but entirely natural and civilizational," sources said.

It is expected that India will ask Nepal to complete the "unfinished task" of making the Constitution more inclusive to address the concerns of the Madhesi community which share close familial and cultural ties with Indians.

Ties between the two countries had soured in the wake of agitation by the Madhesi community opposing Nepal's Constitution, saying it failed to address their concerns over representation and homeland.

The agitators had blocked the trading points for almost four months crippling supply of petroleum products, medicines and other commodities by India to Nepal. The blockade was lifted this month.

Oli is accompanied by wife Radhika Shakya, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa, Finance Minister Bishnu Poudyal, Energy Minister Top Bahadur Rayamaji and Home Minister Shakti Basnet among others.

The Nepalese prime minister will stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

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