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Oli calls up Modi; discusses political situation in Nepal

Narendra Modi

New Delhi/Kathmandu : Prime Minister Narendra Modi today emphasised the importance of finding a durable solution based on consensus to Nepal’s political problems during a telephonic conversation with his Nepalese counterpart K P Oli.

Oli called up Modi and briefed him on the political developments in his country, days after the Nepalese Cabinet decided to amend the Constitution to address keys demands of Madhesis, largely of Indian-origin, from the country’s Terai region over proportional representation and constituency delimitation.

“Prime Minister emphasised the importance of finding a durable solution to the political problems facing Nepal based on consensus or ‘sahmati’,” an External Affairs Ministry release in New Delhi said, adding that Oli “briefed him on the political developments in Nepal”.

According to the Nepalese premier’s press advisor Pramod Dahal, during the 20-minute conversation, Modi invited Oli to visit India. Oli accepted the invitation and said he will pay an official visit to India soon after the situation is normalised, Dahal said.

Modi also extended his good wishes to the friendly people of Nepal for the New Year 2016.

Oli would visit India before undertaking his trip to China, which was earlier supposed to be his maiden visit overseas, sources in the Nepal government said.

The Nepalese Prime Minister extended thanks to Modi for welcoming Nepal government’s move to forward a Bill in the Parliament for amending the Constitution to address the demands raised by the agitating Madhesi Front.

During the talk, the two leaders also discussed matters relating to improving relations between Nepal and India, Dahal said.

Oli said he wanted to see Nepal-India relations move towards a positive direction while also drawing Modi’s attention towards the obstructions prevailing in the Nepal- India border check-points, according to Dahal.

He requested Modi to make arrangements for smoothening the Raxaul-Birgunj check-point, the major trading point between the two countries.

In response, Modi said he was always in favour of easing Indo-Nepal border trading points and asserted that India was not creating any obstructions in the movement in the border checkpoint, Oli’s Press Advisor added.

Modi told Oli that all the border points except the Raxaul-Birgunj check-point are operating in a normal way and the obstructions were created in the Raxaul-Birgunj point due to continued protests by the agitating Madhesi parties, according to Dahal.

Modi also recalled that he had instructed the External Affairs Minister to ensure that medicines reach Nepal through airlifting to avoid their scarcity due to agitations there.

The two Prime Ministers also discussed issues relating to bilateral interest on the occasion.

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