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Nepalese President arrives in New Delhi to start five-day India visit today

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Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari arrived here on Monday on a four-day state visit to India.

Lauding the enterprise and achievements of the people of Nepal, President Pranab Mukherjee has expressed the confidence that their wisdom and resilience would succeed in forging consensus through dialogue and understanding to achieve their objectives within a federal and democratic framework, taking all sections of their society on board. She is being accompanied by a high level delegation comprising Ministers, MPs and senior government officials.

Later, in his banquet speech, President Pranab Mukherjee said the close bonds of kinship and cooperation between India and Nepal are defined by geography and enriched by common culture and history. As per custom, public holidays are announced in Nepal whenever the head of the state embarks on an official foreign visit.

Bhandari will also visit Gujarat and Odisha before returning home.

She was scheduled to have visited India last May, but the trip was cancelled after the then cabinet in Nepal said it was not adequately prepared for it. "Her visit will reflect the priority that India attaches to further strengthening the age-old and unique partnership with Nepal, shared cultural and historical linkages and strong people-to-people relationship". It is expected that both the countries will seek to explore ways to step up cooperation between the close neighbours whose ties faced some strains following the agitation by the Madhesi community previous year. Responding to questions that Bhandari was received at the airport by India's Minister of State, Mahat said there was nothing lacking in the honour India accorded to Nepal's President. The external affairs minister and other ministers will call on the President of Nepal.

Singh called his meeting with President Bhandari as "fruitful". Bhandari, flanked by Mukherjee and Modi, told journalists that her visit would help strengthen Nepal-India ties.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who ousted Oli and became Prime Minister himself, instead welcomed Indian President Mukherjee, and rescheduled Bhandari's visit to New Delhi.