Nirupama Rao arrives in Kathmandu on 2-day visit


Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav, left welcomes Indian Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, center and Indian ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood in Katmandu. AP

During her maiden visit here as Foreign Secretary, Rao will hold talks with her counterpart Gyan Chandra Acharya and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala.

She is expected to call on President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal besides meeting other senior officials.

On her arrival here, Rao told reporters that India's relationship with Nepal is very important.
"We have had a long standing friendship and cooperation with Nepal. I look forward very much in strengthening the ties with Nepal during my tenure (as Foreign Secretary)," she said.

Rao is scheduled to visit on Tuesday the famous Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, where two newly-appointed Indian priests were beaten up by a group of Maoists demanding their replacement by local 'pujaris'. The incident had drawn strong condemnation from India. She is also likely to meet leaders of various political parties, including opposition Maoist chief Prachanda.

The visit is a regular one and aimed at acquainting her about the current political developments in the Himalayan republic, Indian embassy sources said.

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