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PM Nepal meets Indian PM Singh; trade treaty not signed

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Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has met his Indian counterpart Man Mohan Singh at Hyderabad House, New Delhi, Wednesday evening.

Indian PM Singh queried about the progress on the peace and constitution drafting process in Nepal at the meeting. In response, PM Nepal informed the Indian PM of the progress on peace and constitution drafting process and also expressed confidence the constitution would be drafted within the stipulated time.

Singh said, India will support in Nepal's peace process and development as Nepal wants. He also opined, the peace process should be taken to a logical conclusion by taking all parties into confidence.

Singh and Nepal also discussed on various issues of bilateral concern including border security, fake Indian currency notes entering India from Nepal, trade and development. India has agreed to expedite works on the Hulaki sadak, an alternative highway in Terai, and Mahakali-Tanakpur road.

However, the amended commerce and trade treaty could not be signed due to differences between the two countries in some points of the treaty.

Journalists were told the treaty would be signed by the ministers of the two countries in presence of the Prime Ministers.

The treaty includes various points including easing Nepal-India trade, removing double taxation.

According to reports, agreement could not be reached on a point related to exporting products imported from third country. According to the existing treaty, India can export products imported from third country to Nepal, while Nepal can't do so. The treaty could not be signed after India refused to allow similar provision to Nepal.

After the meeting, PM Nepal and other members of his delegation participated in the dinner hosted by Indian PM Singh in honour of the Nepali PM.

Earlier, Wednesday PM Nepal met Indian President Pratibha Patil and chairman of Congress (I) Sonia Gandhi separately.

PM Nepal informed Gandhi of the ongoing peace and constitution drafting process in Nepal. According to tourism minister Sharat Singh Bhandari, who was present at the meeting, Gandhi told PM Nepal the peace process should be taken to a logical conclusion by creating a consensus of all parties. She also pledged support of India for Nepal's peace process. nepalnews.com

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