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Bridging The Gap
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Nepal PM Deuba ahead of bilateral talks.
  Wednesday 23 August, 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Nepal PM Deuba ahead of bilateral talks.

In an unscheduled meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday received Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba at his New Delhi's official residence.

After a brief meeting with his Nepalese counterpart, PM Modi tweeted, ''Happy to welcome Rt Hon Shri Sher Bahadur Deuba ji, PM of close & friendly neighbour Nepal Look forward to more extensive talks tomorrow.''

Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba arrived here on Wednesday on a 4-day visit to India.

He was received by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Indira Gandhi International airport.

This was Deuba's first foreign trip after assuming office amid the Indo-China standoff at the tri-junction Doklam near Sikkim border.

"A special welcome for a close neighbour! EAM @SushmaSwaraj receives @PM_Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba on his arrival on a State Visit to India," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted along with a photo of Swaraj greeting Deuba.

In a tweet, Deuba said, "I am delighted to be in New Delhi. Thank you @SushmaSwaraj for your warm welcome."

In their meeting tomorrow, Modi and Deuba will review the entire gamut of bilateral ties and are likely to deliberate on ways to further deepen the Indo-Nepal relationship in a range of areas including trade and investment.

The Nepalese PM is expected to apprise Modi of the political situation in his country, particularly on the steps being taken by his government to fulfil aspirations of the Indian-origin Madheshi community.

"The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to both the sides for holding wide-ranging discussions on the issues of mutual interest and advancing age-old special ties of friendship between our two countries," the external affairs ministry had said on Monday.

Nepal has been facing a political crisis since the adoption of a new Constitution in September 2015. Madhesis, mostly of Indian origin, have been opposing the new statute as they fear it would marginalise them by dividing the country into seven provinces.

Madhesi protests from October 2015 to February 2016 had resulted in the closure of key trading points with India, triggering shortage of essential supplies in the land-locked country.

The blockade of trade points with India ended in February after more than 50 people were killed in clashes with the police.

Deuba took over as prime minister in June. During his four-day visit, he will also travel to Hyderabad and Bodh Gaya.

He will also call on the president and the vice president.

The Nepal PM will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on Thursday as per schedule. He will also pay a visit to President Ram Nath Kovind later on the day.

The Nepal Prime Minister attended a programme in the Nepali Embassy where he addressed the Nepali community in India and business event organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

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