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Prez to take chartered flight to Varanasi

KATHMANDU, DEC 18 -

President Ram Baran Yadav is taking a chartered flight of Buddha Air to receive an honourary Doctorate of Letters (DLitt) degree at the Banaras Hindu University on December 25.

President Yadav and his 21-member delegation will fly from Kathmandu to Banaras directly, as there is no regular flight on the route.

According to sources, the flight will cost $15,000 and the Nepali side would bear it. “From Varanasi to Delhi and Delhi to Kathmandu, he [President] will travel on regular Indian flights,” added sources.

President of India Pranab Mukherjee and Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University Karan Singh, who is also the chief of the foreign department of the ruling Indian National Congress party, will jointly confer the DLitt degree on President Yadav. Although there is a call from the political section on him not to travel to India at this critical period in Nepal, the upcoming Cabinet meeting will decide on the visit and endorse the size of the delegation. His daughter Anita and two advisers, Hari Sharma and Rajendra Dahal, will be travelling with the President.

A Cabinet minister will accompany him but the Cabinet has yet to assign one. Foreign Secretary Durga Bhattarai, Secretary at the President’s Office Shitalbabu Regmi, Chief of Protocol and South Asia Division head at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Niranjan Man Singh Basnet and Joint-secretary at President’s Office Mani Ram Ojha are part of the delegation. MoFA Under-secretaries Kali Prasad Pokhrel and Narayan Prasad Mainali and an under-secretary from the President’s Office are also learnt to be travelling with the President.

Chargé d’affaires of Nepali Embassy in New Delhi Khaganath Adhikari and another embassy staffer are included in the team. Three security personnel and three media persons are also in the delegation.

During his stay in New Delhi, the President will meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders of the ruling and opposition parties. This is the President’s third India, and fifth international, visit.

Posted on: 2012-12-19 08:33


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