News Digest – International Relations & Foreign Affairs (November 19 – 25)

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India releases official notice: India has confirmed that it is sending Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to Nepal on November 26-27. This is the Secretary’s first visit to Nepal since he assumed office. According to MoFa, the visit is a regular high-level meeting between the two “friendly neighbours”.

Furthermore, the agendas are related to bilateral ties and issues, border dispute, implementation of EPG report, and India-funded projects in Nepal according to the Nepali Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali.

China to send diplomat after India confirms: China’s defence minister will visit Nepal two days after the top Indian diplomat returns to India. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is extremely secretive about it and hasn’t released any official statement. PMO’s office said that the Chinese officials’ visit to Kathmandu was fixed. Observers have concluded strategic rivalry as both neighbours send high-level diplomats.

President and Hou Yanqi interfere again: Amid rivalry between the party chairman Dahal and PM Oli, President Bidya Bhandari and Hou Yanqi have been playing a crucial role to resolve it. Their role in the intra-party conflict is becoming apparent and a cause for concern. Their active involvement with the party rulers has raised questions regarding the party’s functioning and the threat it possesses to the sovereignty of the nation. According to Nepali Congress leader Prakash Sharan Mahat, such meetings invite competition amongst major powers.

Nepal-India railway update: India has extended support to Nepali technicians to operate the cross-border passenger train. The two nations are prepared to operate the railway service after seven years along the Kurtha-Jayanagar section.

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