KATHMANDU, Nov 12: Indian Prime Minister Dr Manhoman Singh has accepted Nepal´s invitation to visit Nepal in March next year, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayankaji Shrestha on Friday.
The India prime minister accepted the invitation after Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai renewed the invitation to visit Nepal during his meeting with Singh on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Addu City, the Maldives
“The date of his visit will be finalized through diplomatic channels,” Shrestha, who was present during the meeting between Bhattarai and Singh, told Republica.
If the visit materializes, Singh will be first Indian prime minister to visit Nepal in the last fourteen years. No Indian prime minister has visited Nepal since the visit of then India Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral to Nepal in 1997.
Shrestha also said that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is visiting Nepal in the third week of December this year.
“We are still working on the date of the Chinese prime minister´s visit. The date will be finalized once I return from the SAARC Summit,” Shrestha said when asked about the visit of the Chinese prime minister.
The Nepali delegation is returning home from the Summit on Saturday night.
Wen will be the highest ranking official to visit Nepal from the northern neighbor since 2001. Earlier, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji had visited Nepal in 2001 and Chinese President Jiang Zemin in 1996.
Before the visit of the Chinese premier, Shrestha will visit Beijing on November 25 to lay the necessary groundwork for Jiabao´s visit.
During the meeting, the Indian Prime Minister also said he will be sending Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Nepal very soon to sign the Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation.
The agreement was supposed to be singed during Bhattarai´s visit to New Delhi last month but could not be signed as both the countries could not agree on some provisions in the agreement.
Shrestha said the Indian prime minister took Nepal´s proposal to revive a joint technical committee on border to settle outstanding border disputes between Nepal and India positively .
“The issues will be decided at the level of foreign ministers of both the countries,” said Shrestha.Kiran chapagai from republica