New air of hope as Oli arrives on 6-day visit

New air of hope as Oli arrives on 6-day visit

Within days of lifting of the blockade along the border, Nepal Prime Minister K P Oli arrived here on a six-day visit during which he will hold extensive talks with the Indian leadership and travel to three states to take the bilateral relations forward.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj received Oli, who was accompanied by a 77-member delegation, at the airport, reflecting the importance India attaches to the visit.

Oli and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks on a range of issues on Saturday, following which both sides are expected to sign a number of pacts in several sectors ranging from energy to the reconstruction of Nepal, ravaged by earthquakes last year.

The Nepal Prime Minister will travel to Bhuj on Tuesday to have a first-hand experience on the reconstruction of a quake-ravaged habitat. The ancient city in Kutch district was severely destroyed by the 2001 earthquake but the state administration – under Modi as Chief Minister – rebuilt the city. Oli will also travel to Mumbai and Tehri hydel project in Uttarakhand.

Talks on Constitution The prime ministers are likely to discuss the unfinished task of making the Nepal's new constitution more inclusive to address the concerns of the Madhesi community that share close family and cultural ties with Indians.

The ties between the neighbours soured in the recent months in the wake of agitation by the Madhesis opposing Nepal's new constitution, which they claimed, did not address their concerns over representation and homeland. 

India is likely to take up the issue of accelerating the constitution reform process with Nepal in the bilateral talks. 

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