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Oli, Dahal agree to begin internal homeworks for party unification

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KATHMANDU — CPN-UML Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal have agreed to begin fresh internal homeworks to resolve disputed issues of party unification.

The two parties, which had already inked a seven-point agreement for merger, but have not been able to finalize the political and ideological draft due to differences over some key issues.

This has raised doubts on the possibility of unification on April 22, the birth anniversary of Lenin.

During the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Residence at Baluwatar on Monday, Oli and Dahal agreed to put all efforts to sort out the differences through high-level discussions within the next few days.

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Leaders from the two parties will hold a decisive negotiation on the remaining issues during a high-level meeting of the two parties planned for Tuesday, Dahal said addressing a program in the capital on Monday.

UML has summoned party’s Standing Committee meeting on Monday evening in this regard while Dahal will also hold intra-party discussions for the same.

The two parties have differences over election symbol, use of People’s War in unified party’s statute and proportion of central committee members to be inducted from both the parties.

Despite resolving above 80 percent of disputes relating to merger, the two parties have not been able to give a written shape to the merger due to differences on some key organizational and ideological issues.

Maoist has also demanded equal proportion in the central committee. But UML has not agreed to using People’s War or removing sun as election symbol and said proportion of central committee members should depend on the size of the two parties after the federal and provincial elections.

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Nepal, China to establish mechanism on Chinese-aid projects; expedite feasibility study and DPR on rail link

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KATHMANDU — Nepal and China have agreed on establishing mechanism on Chinese aid projects in Nepal for the implementation of various key agreements including a cross-country railway link which were reached with China during K P Sharma Oli’s previous stint as prime minister.

At a bilateral meeting held in Beijing on Wednesday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali held discussions with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi about the early conduct of a feasibility study and preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Nepal-China Cross Border Railway line.

Minister Gyawali, addressing a joint press conference held after the bilateral meeting, said they held a comprehensive review of the progress made in implementing various other agreements reached during recent high-level visits including the visit of Prime Minister Oli to China in March 2016.

During the meeting held at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, the duo discussed bilateral relations and among other issues of mutual cooperation between Nepal-China.

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Foreign Minister Gyawali said they exchanged views on the draft protocol for the transit and transport agreement and agreed to step up negotiations for its early finalization.

The two foreign ministers also held discussions about implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoU) under the Belt and Road Initiative.

“Nepal has expectations that the Initiative should contribute to the development of physical infrastructure, enhancing of cross-border connectivity including by rail and road, promotion of trade, tourism and investment, and people to people relations,” Gyawali further said.

On the occasion, Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang said China-Nepal-India, the three neighbouring countries, are natural allies connected by rivers and mountains.

Wang further said they agreed to continue deepening mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Nepal. “China will give full support and China will continue to encourage Chinese businesses to invest in Nepal in light of need on the ground to contribute to local development,” Wang said.

Saying that China and India are the neighbours of Nepal, the Chinese Minister said the two countries should support Nepal in its development works.

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Talking about Nepal’s vision of multidimensional cross-Himalaya connectivity network, Wang said as China-Nepal have signed BRI cooperation, the connectivity network falls under the part of BRI cooperation. He said BRI further covers links to ports, railways, highways, aviation, electricity and communications.

Moreover, Wang said Nepal could take advantage from cooperation and development of China and India.

On the occasion, Gyawali thanked Chinese Foreign Minister Wang for China’s support for reconstruction projects including the Araniko Highway Repair Project and cross-border bridges at Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi.

Earlier, Minister Gyawali has called on Vice-President of China, Wang Qishan at Zhongnanhai on Wednesday morning.

A press release issued by Nepali Embassy in Beijing mentioned that Foreign Minister Gyawali conveyed the greetings and best wishes of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and said that Nepal appreciates President Xi Jinping’s vision of ‘building a community of shared future for humanity,’ and supports China’s thrust on enhancing cooperation among nations under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Highlighting the fact that Nepal and China have been enjoying excellent relations based on friendship and good neighborliness since ancient times, Vice-President Qishan stressed on fully tapping the potentials of bilateral relations between the two countries.

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