Nepal President to meet PM next week

Thursday, January 27, 2011

NEW DELHI - India and Nepal will hold wide-ranging talks next week on the eve of a fresh round of prime ministerial elections in Nepal when President Ram Baran Yadav will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his senior cabinet colleagues here.

Yadav begins his 10-day visit to India from Kolkata Thursday evening.

It will be a visit laden with nostalgia for Yadav, who obtained his MBBS degree from the then Calcutta Medical College, followed by a diploma in clinical pathology from the School of Tropical Medicines in Kolkata. The 63-year-old physician-politician will participate as the chief guest at the convocation ceremony of the college Friday.

Yadav will next visit Tirupati on Jan 30, before arriving at New Delhi for talks, the external affairs ministry said here Thursday while announcing the visit.

India is rolling out the red carpet to welcome Yadav, with the entire spectrum of top leadership expected to meet him.

President Pratibha Patil will host a banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary Wednesday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will be engaging Yadav in wide-ranging talks. India is likely to convey to Nepal the urgent need for concluding the process of drafting the new constitution that continues to be mired in bitter partisan politics.

\”The visit will provide an opportunity to exchange views and hold discussions on issues of mutual interest and concern in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchange of visits between the two countries,\” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

The ministry described India-Nepal relations as \”a unique relationship of friendship and cooperation characterised by open borders, deep-rooted people-to-people contacts and extensive cooperation\”.

Yadav will later visit Chandigarh to participate in the convocation ceremony of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) as its Chief Guest on Feb 4. He completed his MD in General Medicine from PGIMER in 1985.

The visit of the Nepalese president comes in the middle of a period of intense political flux in Nepal.

Nepal\’s feuding parties will make yet another attempt at forming a government during prime ministerial polls Feb 3.

The three major parties - the ruling Communists, their ally, the Nepali Congress, and the opposition Maoists - remained deadlocked in a bitter contest for power that began in June 2010 after Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned.

When the parties failed to name a consensus government by last Friday, Yadav directed parliament to hold fresh elections to choose a new premier on the basis of majority.

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