© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi walks after the handover ceremony during the G20 Leaders Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, on November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Willi Kurniawan/Pool/File Photo
NEW DELHI/KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kumar Dahal will visit India next week and hold talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to cement the historically deep ties between the two countries.
Nepal’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the visit “will reinforce the long-standing and multi-faceted friendly relations between Nepal and India.”
The trip will be Dahal’s first official overseas trip since he was elected prime minister in December 2022. He has visited India three times before as prime minister in previous terms.
Dahal, a 68-year-old former Maoist rebel leader whose name is Prachanda, meaning “fierce,” will meet other senior Indian officials, including President Draupadi Mormo.
As a testament to the strong ties between New Delhi and Kathmandu, Dahal’s visit follows a meeting of Nepali prime ministers who makes New Delhi their first international port after taking office.
The four-day visit will start on May 31 and will also include visits to the Ujjain temple and Indore.
The visit continues the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between India and Nepal to promote the “neighborhood first” policy. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that the bilateral relations between the two countries have greatly strengthened in the past few years in all areas of cooperation.
Modi has visited Nepal five times since becoming India’s prime minister in 2014, the last in May 2022.