Mukherjee to visit Nepal from November 2

Kathmandu, Oct 3 (IANS) Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to pay a three-day state visit to Nepal from November 2, officials said.

President Mukherjee will arrive in Kathmandu immediately after the Diwali festival on the invitation of his Nepali counterpart Bidhya Devi Bhandari, top Nepali officials confirmed to IANS.

Nepal has already forwarded an official invitation to President Mukherjee for the visit.

Both Nepal and India have started the groundwork for the visit, the officials said.

No Indian President has visited the Himalayan country after K.R. Narayanan’s visit in 1997.

Narendra Modi’s 2014 Kathmandu visit was the first by an Indian Prime Minister after a gap of 17 years.

Nepal has been urging India for regular exchange of high-level visits.

After Mukherjee’s visit, the Nepal President will embark on a state visit to India, the officials added.

Earlier, it was decided that the Nepali President would first visit India, to be followed by her Indian counterpart. Abrupt cancellation of Bhandari’s visit had put Indian President’s visit under a cloud of uncertainty.

On behalf of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the then Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli had extended an invitation to Mukherjee during his (Oli) India visit in February.