Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prachanda consults with NC, UML leaders on his India tour

A day before he sets out for his first formal tour to neighbouring India as head of the government, Prime Minister Prachanda Saturday held a series of parleys with political leaders pertaining to the visit.

He held separate discussions with former Prime Minister and Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala and UML general secretary Jhala Nath Khanal.

Dahal went to Koirala's residence at Dhumbarahi in the afternoon, and discussed on how he could deal with New Delhi effectively regarding matters of national interest.

Emerging from the half-hour long meeting, the PM said he met Koirala to learn from his long experience as a Prime Minister. The NC leader is learnt to have advised Dahal not to go for any deal with New Delhi, and remain within the limits of a goodwill visit.

Earlier today, the PM had held consultation with UML leaders. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, UML general secretary Khanal said the Prime Minister's visit is basically aimed at consolidating the Nepal-India ties. "Although there are no specific agendas for the visit it will be important for improving bilateral relations," he said.

Foreign Minister Yadav, who is accompanying the PM to New Delhi, said several issues of bilateral interest would be discussed during the visit, but didn't specify the agendas.

Meanwhile, PM Prachanda also met Indian ambassador Rakesh Sood at the PMO in Singh Durbar and informed him about the issues his delegation would be raising while in Delhi.

Sood told reporters after the meeting that the two countries would discuss "all important issues including the demand for a review on 1950 Friendship Treaty, and the problem caused by Koshi dam" during the Nepali Prime Minister's visit.

Prachanda will leave for New Delhi on Sunday, leading a 30-member delegation comprised of foreign, water resources, communication and supplies ministers.

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