India, Nepal discuss extradition treaty, trade pact

Last Updated: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 21:21

Kathmandu: Seeking a stable, peaceful and
developed Nepal, India on Thursday assured Nepalese leaders of its
support to their Constitution-drafting process as the two
sides discussed issues like signing of an extradition treaty
and a key trade pact.

"India stands for stable, peaceful and developed Nepal,"
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters before wrapping
up her three-day visit here.
Her remarks came after her talks with Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala and other
high-level Nepalese officials on key issues like signing of an
extradition treaty and a mutual legal assistance pact, apart
from the Bilateral Investment Protect Agreement (BIPA) and
those relating to Avoidance of Double Taxation.

Rao described her visit as excellent and said she had
very productive talks with the Nepalese leaders.

She said that during her meeting with Koirala, they
mainly discussed various developmental projects being
implemented in Nepal under Indian assistance.

"India is a key development partner of Nepal and our
relations are founded on that basis," she pointed out.
"Nepal`s economic development, progress and prosperity are our
main concerns."

To a question on what type of government India would like
to see in Nepal, she said "I am not here to make comments on
Nepal`s internal affairs. It is up to the Nepalese people to
decide about the formation of the government."

Rao also assured the Nepalese leaders of India`s support
to the Constitution-drafting process, strengthening of
inclusive multi-party democracy in Nepal and also for
successful conclusion of the peace process, according to a
statement issued by the Indian embassy.
She emphasised on the speedy implementation of projects
being executed in Nepal with Indian assistance. In response,
Nepalese Foreign Secretary Madan Kumar Bhattarai assured her
that his government will do its utmost to expedite the work of
established mechanisms and other initiatives to further
strengthen and deepen bilateral relations, the statement said.

Bhattarai also accepted the invitation by the Indian
Foreign Secretary to visit India at the earliest, it said.

After her meeting with Rao, Koirala told reporters that
the talks were fruitful and positive.

"We discussed various issues, including construction of
Indo-Nepal railway, expediting works on Integrated Check Post
in Birgunj and establishment of a police academy," she said.

Progress has been made in the Bilateral Investment
Protection Agreement, Double Taxation Avoidance and other key
issues, she said.

"We are of the view that the extradition treaty should be
signed in a manner that serves the interest of both the
countries," Koirala said.

"We did not discuss reviewing the Nepal-India Peace and
Friendship Treaty of 1950," she said in response to a
question.

To another question, she said all the political parties
of Nepal should work together to resolve the current political
stalemate over government formation following Premier Madhav
Kumar Nepal`s resignation under Maoist pressure in June last
year.
Separately, Bhattarai told reporters that progress was
made on key issues like singing of BIPA and a new extradition
treaty that would replace the old pact signed between Nepal
and India in 1953.

"We have also discussed receiving credit line facility of
USD 250 million from India for implementing various projects
as per Nepal government`s priority," he said.

Rao also met President of Madhesi People`s Rights Forum
(Democratic) Bijaya Gachhadar and Energy Minister and Nepali
Congress leader Prakash Sharan Mahat today.

She had earlier called on President Ram Baran Yadav and
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and met top leaders of major
political parties, including Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali
Congress President Shushil Koirala and CPN-UML president Jhala
Nath Khanal.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 21:21

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