Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli has decided to invite his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for a religious festival in December – an occasion that is expected to provide another opportunity for the two countries to set a new direction in their close but complex relationship. The Bibaha Panchami’ marks the wedding procession of Lord Rama from Ayodhya to Janakpur in Nepal on December 12.
Mr Oli has been seen as determined to expand cooperation with China. His statement earlier this year that Nepal will “remain engaged in the vibrant economic drive of the neighborhood” and that it respects the “legitimate interests of our neighbors” is seen as a mark of his intention to cultivate ties with both China and India.
For New Delhi, which has been pursuing PM Modi’s “neighbourhood first” policy, countering China’s plans to expand its footprint in the Himalayan country is crucial, especially in view of Pakistan’s close ties with the Asian giant. Read More