Nepal president on India visit

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 24, 2012 15:30 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav Monday began a five-day official visit to India on the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee. He arrived in Varanasi where he is to attend a special convocation of the Banaras Hindu University.

On Tuesday, the Nepal president would attend the closing function on the 150th anniversary celebration of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya at the varsity and receive an honorary doctorate, a statement said Monday.

President Yadav is expected to meet with President Mukherjee on Dec 26 and hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the same evening at 7, Race Course Road.

Vice President Hamid Ansari and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid would also be calling on him. Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai is to call on him on Thursday as well as Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Defence Minister A.K. Antony. He departs on Saturday.

Yadav's Dec 24-29 visit comes as his country is in the midst of a political crisis over formation of a national unity government.

India and Nepal enjoy a special and unique relationship rooted in shared heritage, civilization, culture and extensive people-to-people relations across an open border, said an external affairs ministry statement.

It has always been India's endeavour to support peace, stability and prosperity in Nepal. In this context, India is committed to continue its institutionalised cooperation and development assistance to Nepal, it added.

The visit is in line with the tradition of high-level political exchange between India and Nepal. President Yadav had been on an official visit to India in January/February 2011.

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