It’s official: Prachanda to come to India in September

August 30th, 2008 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) Nepal’s Prime Minister Prachanda will come to India next month before he goes to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, the country’s Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav said here Saturday.”Nepal’s PM is very eager to come to India. We have requested the Indian government to fix the dates. We want him to come (to India) before he goes to the UN General Assembly (in the third week of September),” Yadav, on his first visit to India after becoming foreign minister, told reporters.

Prachanda is likely to visit India between Sep 15 and Sep 20, official sources told IANS.

Yadav also underlined that people in India need not worry about Prachanda’s recent visit to China as “no power on earth can upset close friendly relations between the two countries”.

He stressed that Nepal’s historical, cultural and fraternal ties with India are such that they cannot be compared to those with any other country.

Yadav, however, reiterated the new dispensation’s stated policy of “maintaining equidistance” in its relations with India and China.

“Equidistance means equal relations. Our relations with India are not against China. Likewise, our relations with China are not against India,” he said.

He also called for a revision of the 1950 treaty of friendship between India and Nepal to bring it in tune with times. “Nepal is ready for it. India is ready for it. It will take forward the relationship and deepen friendship,” he said.

He struck a cautious note on the controversy about India’s alleged negligence to repair embankments on the Kosi river that triggered deadly floods, saying “a blame game will not solve anything”.

“The lack of timely repair of embankments was one of the reasons. No repair was done for seven years. It’s a natural disaster. We should work in the spirit of cooperation and friendship,” he said.

“Nepal is expecting India will help it in a big way,” he said when asked whether the Indian government has pledged any funds for relief and rehabilitation of flood victims in Nepal.

Nepal plans to strengthen the embankment of the river on its side to prevent recurrence of such natural calamities, he said.

The Bihar government and some political parties have asked the central government to take up the matter with Nepal.

He called for a revision of the Kosi river treaty and plug the gaps in it to address a situation like floods.

All bilateral issues, including the situation in the aftermath of floods, were discussed when Yadav met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Thursday.

Besides calling on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he also met Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leaders L.K. Advani and Rajnath Singh.

Yadav, the leader of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum which represents the interests of Madhesis in the Terai region bordering India, is known to have a wide network of contacts cutting across political parties in India.

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