Nepal, Pakistan discuss bilateral, SAARC issues

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Mar. 6:
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived Kathmandu on Monday on a two-day official visit to Nepal in the afternoon.
In the evening, Pakistani PM Abbasi and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli held a meeting at the Yak and Yeti Hotel for about an hour, where both of them exchanged views on political and economic matters.
“During the meeting, matters related to enhancing bilateral cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, tourism, agriculture, and human resources development were discussed. The two leaders agreed to hold regularly the meetings of bilateral mechanisms. They also exchanged views on revitalising the SAARC process in the spirit of the Charter,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Pakistani Prime Minister had arrived at 3 in the afternoon Monday to personally congratulate Oli on being elected the PM of Nepal.
Both the prime ministers agreed to make SAARC more effective, according to Chetan Adhikari, press coordinator of PM KP Sharma Oli. Premier Oli said that if there was any misunderstanding among the SAARC countries, then it should be sorted out through mutual consultations.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Abbasi said he was ready to host the coming SAARC Summit. PM Oli replied that he would reach a conclusion on the issue after holding consultations with other members of the SAARC.
Prime Minister Oli told his Pakistani counterpart that the process of strengthening loktantra in Nepal was ongoing and that the elections had ended the political transition.
During the meeting, Pakistani Prime Minister Abbasi extended an invitation to Premier Oli to visit Pakistan. In response, Premier Oli said he would visit Pakistan at a suitable time.
Also present at the talks today were Finance Minister Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada, the PM’s principal political advisor Bishnu Rimal, Chief Secretary Lokdarshan Regmi and Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi.
The Pakistani Embassy in Kathmandu said that the visit was part of Pakistan’s pro-active and outreach efforts to engage with regional countries.
It said that Pakistan has taken the visit as an opportunity to further expand and strengthen bilateral relations across all areas of mutual interest, including trade, education, tourism, defence and people to people contact.
“Nepal is an important regional country and a close friend. Our ties with Nepal are characterised by cordiality, mutual respect and commonality of interest. Our support to each other at the bilateral and multilateral forums has remained indispensable for both the sides,” said the Embassy.
Following the bilateral meeting, PM Oli hosted a dinner in honour of the visiting dignitary.
Earlier, a ‘Guard of Honour’ was presented to the visiting Pakistani PM at the Tundikhel Open Grounds. He is the first foreign head of government to receive the ‘Guard of Honour’ at Tundikhel. Earlier, it used to be presented at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
Minister of Finance Yuba Raj Khatiwada received Pakistani Prime Minister Abbasi at the Tribhuvan International Airport while PM Oli welcomed him at Tundikhel.
Abbasi is scheduled to call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday.
PM Abbasi will leave for Islamabad on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, RSS adds: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today hosted a dinner reception in honour of visiting Pakistani PM Abbasi.
In the dinner reception hosted at Hotel Yak and Yeti, Nepal’s former prime ministers, ministers, chiefs of constitutional bodies, high-ranking government officials and chiefs of security bodies were present.
Prior to the meeting with the President, Abbasi and UCPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ are scheduled to hold talks.

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