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Senior Chinese leader in Nepal on important visit

Shirish B Pradhan, PTI
Kathmandu, Aug 16 - Amid the political crisis in Nepal, China's top security czar arrived here today along with a 25-member delegation to discuss "mutual concerns" and promote bilateral ties.

Zhou Yongkang, a Politburo Standing Committee member of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), will meet President Ram Baran Yadav, government officials and leaders of Nepal's major political parties during his three-day stay here.

His "goodwill" visit comes at a time when Beijing's influence has grown significantly in the Himalayan nation recent years.

He is also expected to meet Nepal's outgoing Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal as well as Prachanda, the Chairman of the Maoist party. Zhou will also meet Nepal's Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav.

Zhou spoke highly of the progress in China-Nepal ties in recent years, stressing that his visit is aimed at enhancing mutual trust, promoting friendship and expanding cooperation between the two neighbours.

Zhou said he looks forward to exchanging views with leaders of the Nepalese government and political parties on China-Nepal ties, inter-party relations and mutual concerns between the two sides to push forward the comprehensive partnership of cooperation between Beijing and Kathmandu, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

During his talks with Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala and other senior leaders here today, Zhou stressed on the need to forge consensus among political parties of Nepal to complete the peace process and Constitution-drafting, NC leader Arjun Narsingh Khatri Chhetri, who was also present at the meeting, said. PTI

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