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Modi talks to Oli

Thursday, December 31st, 2015
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PM Oli at an event in Damak, Jhapa on Thursday. Photo: RSS

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Oli spoke to each other on Thursday as the Indian blockade of Nepal in support of Madhesi parties dragged into its fifth month, straining ties between the two South Asian neighbours.

Oli was in Jhapa when he spoke to Modi over phone at around 10:30 AM Thursday. They extended best wishes to each other for the New Year and discussed ways to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries, according to Oli’s press adviser Pramod Dahal.

Oli reportedly thanked Modi for India’s recent statement welcoming Nepal’s decision to amend the new constitution and set up an all-party committee to revise federal boundaries.

Modi is also said to have invited Oli to visit India in 2016 and Oli supposedly agreed. But a statement issued by Indian embassy in Kathmandu has no mention of Modi inviting Oli for visiting India. The terse statement reads: ‘Prime Minister emphasised the importance of finding a durable solution to the political problems facing Nepal based on consensus.’

According to Dahal, Oli drew Modi’s attention to disruption in supply of fuel through Birganj-Raxaul check-point and Modi said he was always for “unhindered trade”.

This was the third time Modi spoke to Oli after the latter became Nepal’s prime minister nearly three months ago. Modi’s first call was just a courtesy and he called second time to draw Oli’s attention to death of an India protester in Birganj.

Modi’s third telephone conversation with Oli is seen in Kathmandu as an effort by New Delhi to restore its relations with Kathmandu which has reached the lowest point ever after New Delhi overtly backed Madhesi protesters and cut off supply of fuel and other essential commodities since September.

Oli has publicly admitted that Nepal-India relations have soured, and he is seen getting closer to China. After India’s blockade began in September, China donated petrol to Nepal and promised to provide another cache of fuel during Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa’s visit to Beijing last week.

China has also invited Oli to visit Beijing in 2016. Oli has said yes, but it is not sure whether he will go to Beijing before Delhi. Nepal’s past Prime Ministers, except for Pushpa Kamal Dahal, have always visited India before any other country. Dahal visited Beijing before Delhi and had to step down in just nine months following a controversy which he alleged was orchestrated by India.

The first signs of improvement in Nepal-India ties had appeared last month when Thapa visited New Delhi and proposed a road map to address Madhesi demands. The cabinet’s resolution to amend the constitution to ensure proportional representation of Madhesi people and set up a committee to readjust state boundaries was the first step of the road map.

Despite India’s positive response, Madhesi parties rejected the road map and announced fresh protests. But this week some Madhesi leaders have hinted that they are keen to call off their border protests and show flexibility on the road-map.

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2 Responses to “Modi talks to Oli”

  1. Hurray on Says:

    It is very clear that the incumbent leaders and the ones from the past 25 years have sold the soul of our country to India.
    And we ordinary people wonder why India treats us the way she does.

  2. Anil Thapa on Says:

    Nepali leaders would be stupid to trust and believe Modi. Modi is a cruel man with a cold heart. Just ask the families of Muslims that were slaughtered in Gujrat when Modi was CM. Indians are not our friends but our wosrt enemies. Never forget that – leaders of Nepal

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