Nepal Prime Minister Oli on a 3-day India visit; India-Nepal to build new rail route between Raxaul, Kathmandu

New Delhi: Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli, known for his anti-India and pro-Chinese policies is on a three-day India visit. The Nepalese Prime Minister’s India visit gains importance in view of the fact that India and China are engaged in a bitter battle to increase their influence in the South Asian countries and their competition has reached its peak point.

In a joint statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the laying of a new railway line between Raxaul, Bihar to Kathmandu, Nepal in the presence of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli. Prime Minister Modi said that India will help Nepal to connect the two countries with a waterway. He also announced that decisions had been made in order to increasing the Indo-Nepal cooperation in the defence, security and agriculture sectors.

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli became the Prime Minister of Nepal, once again only last month. The Prime Minister being a supporter of China, avoided answering any questions from the reporters on the Chinese ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) project. ‘Nepal is neutral about the OBOR and is making efforts to develop relations with China and other countries as a sovereign and independent country’, said Oli. The Nepalese Prime Minister said that he was aware of the reality of the 21st century and therefore, was visiting India to strengthen the ties between both the countries.

Just before Prime Minister Oli came to India, the Pakistani Prime Minister had visited Nepal. Following this visit, Nepal supported the organisation of the ‘SAARC’ summit in Pakistan. This indicates that the Nepalese Prime Minister is not keen to be on the Indian side.

Meanwhile, at the press conference addressed jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, references were made to the traditional friendly relations shared by the two countries. Announcements were also made to strengthen these relations further. But the issues of Chinese projects in Nepal were also said to have been raised in the discussions between the Prime Ministers. Prime Minister Modi said that Nepal had a right to build a power project with Chinese participation. However, there were news reports of India warning Nepal that it will not buy the power produced at this project.

Meanwhile, China has taken note of the Nepalese Prime Minister’s India visit. ‘The Nepalese Prime Minister chose India as the first country to visit after assuming office. But in view of the changed international scenario, this visit assumes a slightly different importance’, said an article published in Global Times, the Chinese government’s mouthpiece. The Chinese foreign ministry also has given its reaction. The ministry has praised the balanced policy adopted by the new Nepalese government.

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