Nepal seeks additional air entry points into India

Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on Sunday urged the Indian government to grant new air entry points for his country.

His appeal comes a day after Nepal and India agreed to review a bilateral transit treaty to incorporate issues like providing Nepal access to the sea through Indian waterways, Xinhua news agency reported.

Addressing provincial assembly members in Butwal, the Prime Minister said: “India has granted only one cross-border air entry point to Nepal.

“So the only option we have now for international flights is Simara air entry point. But we need additional cross-border air entry points in the days to come, and for which, India should cooperate with us.”

Oli said he had taken up the issue during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visited India earlier this month.

Oli said his government wants to sign a deal with India to allow international flights to and from the Gautam Buddha International Airport being built in Bhairahawa near the Nepal-India border.

Meanwhile, during the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee, a commerce-secretary level forum between India and Nepal which concluded on Saturday, both sides agreed to review the transit treaty in the next three months, Rabi Shankar Sainju, joint secretary at the Nepali Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply told Xinhua.

India agreed to provide Nepal access to the sea through the waterways during Oli’s India visit. “This facility will be included in the treaty during the review process,” said Sainju.