Kathmandu, Nov 9: Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is likely to visit Nepal in December this year. The visit comes after Nepal’s major political parties reached a seven-point agreement to conclude the five year long peace process earlier this month.
The deal allows 6,500 UCPN-Maoists combatants to be integrated into the Nepal army. The youth-wing of the UCPN-M Youth Communist League will be dissolved, and the captured lands and properties of the general public, which were seized by the Maoists during the war, will be returned to the rightful owners by Nov. 23 with compensation. The deal marks a major breakthrough in the Himalayan Kingdom’s topsy-turvy ride to democracy.
Nepali newspapers reported that Wen will arrive in Nepal in third week of December on a three-day official visit. However, high-level preparations are underway for the visit of the Chinese Premier.
The visit will be observed in India because of China’s increasing interest in South Asia. India has long been influential in Nepal and half of Nepal’s trade is with India. Nepal’s currency is also tied to the Indian rupee. In contrast, China has played a low-key role in Nepal until the emergence of the Maoists. India has been seen as aligned with the anti-Maoist faction.
A visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Nepal is also on the card, though the date for the visit is yet to be finalized.
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Jayanta Prasad had recently said that a visit of the Prime Minister will be worked out after the ongoing peace process of Nepal concludes in a month.
(With inputs from PTI)