Nirupama Rao discusses India, Nepal ties in Kathmandu

     Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao met Nepal Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala and discussed various bilateral issues including greater sharing of vital information between the two countries. According to Nepalnews, both the leaders also discussed electricity import from India, signing of extradition treaty and the agreements reached during Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal's visit to India last month. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Koirala said that the discussion basically revolved around building greater cooperation between India and Nepal, Constitution drafting and the peace process. "India was keen on providing more assistance to help develop Nepal's poor infrastructures, building transmission lines for the import of electricity from India, signing of the new extradition treaty and address other trade issues," Koirala added. Earlier Nirupama Rao met her Nepalis counterpart Gyan Chandra Acharya and discussed joint strategy for implementation of the 34-point agreement signed between the two countries last month. During the meeting, she assured substantial amount of Indian investment in Nepal if peace is established in the country. She also called on former Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala at his residence and suggested that Koirala has a great role to play in the days ahead to end the political impasse in Nepal. She also met CPN UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and extended an invitation to visit India on behalf of the government of India. During her meeting she advised Khanal to seek a practical solution on rehabilitation and integration of former Maoist combatants. Nirupama Rao also met Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, Chief of Army Staff Chatra Mansingh Gurung and Maoist leader Babu Ram Bhattrai New Delhi is sending a high-level official to Nepal at a time when the constitution-drafting and peace process has been stalled due to differences among major political parties. This is Nirupama Rao's first visit to Nepal after being appointed Foreign Secretary on July 31. She will also visit Pashupatinath temple and offer her prayers later today.

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