In her first foreign tour, Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari is paying a state visit to India from April 17 to 21 at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, it was announced on Wednesday.
This will be the first foreign visit of Nepal’s President after assuming the office in October 2015, the Nepal Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday, adding she will be staying at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi as a state guest.
As per the itinerary, Bhandari will attend a reception and a dinner to be hosted by Nepal Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyaya on April 17.
On April 18, she will gave a ceremonial reception and inspect a guard of honour at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. She will also pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat and visitYamuna Biodiversity Park. On the same day, she will call on Mukherjee and attend a banquet hosted by him.
Similarly, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some senior cabinet members will call on her.During the visit, Bhandari will also visit Gujarat and Odisha.
In a statement, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said: “The upcoming visit reflects the priority that both India and Nepal attach to further strengthening of their age-old, unique, wide-ranging partnership, underpinned by shared historical and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people connections.”
“The upcoming visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries, and will further deepen the cordial and cooperative ties that exist between India and Nepal,” it added.
Bhandari was scheduled to visit India in May last year but then Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli cancelled the visit at the last moment.
The then Nepal cabinet cancelled the visit following political upheaval in the Himalayan nation when Oli’s government was nearly toppled by its Maoist ally.