Mukherjee’s trip successful in building mutual trust: Nepal cabinet

Kathmandu, Nov 5 (IANS) Nepal’s cabinet has said that Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s three-day state visit to the Himalayan country Nepal was “successful in building mutual trust and confidence”.

According to government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communication Ram Karki, Friday’s Cabinet meeting concluded that the Indian President’s visit boosted confidence and helped improve bilateral relations, the Kathmandu Post reported.

The Nepalese government has also decided to expedite preparations for President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s visit to India, which was earlier called off in May.

The cabinet’s conclusion came hours before the Indian president flew to New Delhi. Mukherjee, who had reached Kathmandu on Wednesday, returned home on Friday evening.

Experts and diplomats said the visit by the Indian head of state was a positive gesture but just one visit does not bring about a sweeping change, especially when it comes to bilateral ties and diplomatic processes.

Nepal-India ties witnessed an all-time low last year following the promulgation of the constitution and an undeclared border blockade, the Kathmandu Post noted.

Former Foreign Secretary Madhu Raman Acharya said the visit does signify that India wants to normalise relations with Nepal but it would be wrong to say just one visit fixes all the problems.

“We have to see how India responds and what kind of reciprocity it shows. We need to wait and see how India implements its Nepal policy in the new emerging situation,” said Acharya.

Nishchal Nath Pandey, director of the Central for South Asian Studies, said, “We need to capitalise on the goodwill that we have built. The government should also strive to ensure more high-level exchanges with other countries.”

Resumption of high-level exchanges is a good sign but diplomacy is a continuous process, said the foreign relations experts.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat said, “The Cabinet noted that the Indian President’s visit was successful in each and every aspect and we are happy to note that this has increased level of trust and confidence between Nepal India.”