Menon to visit Nepal tomorrow

Menon, who would arrive here on a Special Aircraft, will meet President Ram Baran Yadav, Vice President Parmananda Jha, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala and Home Minister Bhim Bahadur Rawal.

He would also hold bilateral talks with his Nepalese counterpart Gyanchandra Acharya tomorrow.

"During his high-level meetings with Nepalese officials, matters relating to bilateral relations and mutual cooperation will figure," Nepal's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Madan Bhattarai said.

"This is a regular official visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary and all aspects of bilateral relations will figure during talks," the spokesman said.

Though the Foreign Ministry said Menon's visit is part of regular high-level dialogue between the two countries, it is widely speculated that the top Indian diplomat will convey to the Nepalese leadership India's concerns over the delay in constituting the full cabinet and and the need to take the peace process to a logical conclusion.

Prime Minister Nepal, who assumed office on May 25, has not been able to expand his Council of Ministers with his coalition partners insisting on key portfolios.

During the talks, Nepalese leaders are also expected to raise the issue relating to border problem and increasing criminal activities and violence unleashed by different armed groups in the southern plains of the country.

Indo-Nepal cooperation on water resources, expansion of bilateral trade and straitening cultural ries are also likely to figure during the talks.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had invited his counterpart Madhav Nepal to visit New Delhi immediately after he assumed office. Madhav is expected to visit India either later this month or early next month.

Menon's visit, the second this year, comes in the backdrop of Maoists alleging encroachment of borders by India.

Indian Embassy had issued a statement denying the allegations, saying 98 per cent of the border issue is already resolved and India is ready to put its signature on the border map being prepared by experts of both the countries.

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