" During the visit, the two sides are preparing to table agendas that will mutually benefit both sides. Both countries have identified some key areas like energy, power, road and rail links, and expansion of petroleum line from India to Nepal."
By Anil Giri

Kathmandu, July 31 - The visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and a Unesco World Heritage Site in Nepal, has not been confirmed yet, a minister said.

Nepal's Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey told the media Wednesday that Modi's visit to Lumbini would be possible if the weather permitted.

Apart from meeting political leaders, addressing Nepal's parliament and offering special puja at Pashupatinath temple, Modi, who will arrive in Kathmandu Sunday, is also interested in visiting another Hindu pilgrimage site, Janakpur Dham, and Lumbini.

Nepali officials have been consulting with the weathermen here to forecast the weather of Lumbini for Monday, the day Modi plans to visit Lumbini.

But Nepali weathermen told officials that it would only be possible to forecast the weather just three days before the trip, which means it will be known only by Saturday.

But due to poor infrastructure of the airport, security reasons and lack of adequate infrastructure, it is not possible to visit Janakpur Dham, the minister said.

According to Pandey, who recently held talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, the visit of the Indian prime minister is focused on economic partnership based on equal footing.

During the visit, the two sides are preparing to table agendas that will mutually benefit both sides. Both countries have identified some key areas like energy, power, road and rail links, and expansion of petroleum line from India to Nepal.

(Anil Giri can be contacted at [email protected])


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