India woos new Nepal PM Prachanda to claw back ground from China

Flag Map of Nepal

NEW DELHI/KATHMANDU (TIP): India is likely to offer Nepal’s new prime minister help building an east-west railway line and better access to its ports on his first visit this week, as it tries to regain ground lost recently to China.

Prachanda+ , a former Maoist rebel commander, has chosen New Delhi as his first foreign stop, seeking to rebalance ties that chilled under his pro-China predecessor. KP Oli had sealed trade deals that sought to reduce landlocked Nepal’s economic dependence on India.

“Relations with India have become frosty for some time. I want to remove the bitterness,” Prachanda told reporters on Tuesday evening in Kathmandu, adding India now “wants to help Nepal, which is in difficulties.”

Nepal has yet to complete a political transition after a decade-long insurgency and weeks of deadly street protests that brought down the monarchy nearly a decade ago.

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