14:40 GMT +315 October 2019
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    A Buddhist woman offers prayers at a monastery during Buddha Jayanti, or Buddha Purnima, festival in Katmandu, Nepal.

    Balancing Act: Nepal Invites Modi and Xi For Buddha Jayanti Celebrations

    © AP Photo / Niranjan Shrestha
    Asia & Pacific
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    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet in Nepal next month. The government of Nepal has invited Modi and Xi Jinping for the Buddha Jayanti Celebrations.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) —  In a balancing act Nepali Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli has invited Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping to take part in the upcoming Buddha Jayanti Celebrations. 

    Nepal's government is celebrating Buddha Jayanti with much fanfare on May 21 in Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha. This year is the 2,560 th birth anniversary of Buddha and the Government of Nepal has invited a large number of world leaders including top Indian political and religious leaders.

    The Nepali government's decision to invite Modi and Xi is being regarded as an act to make a fine balance between its two close neighbors.

    ​India — Nepal relations now stand at their lowest ebb for almost a year due to the Madhesi protest along the Indo-Nepal border. During this period the Nepali government hobnobbed with the Chinese and also signed some agreements to increase fuel supplies which offended India. By inviting Modi and Xi Jinping the Nepali prime minister has tried to make a fine balance between the two giant neighbors. 

    In the changing geo-political situation of Asia, it has become imperative for Nepal to maintain good relations with both India and China and Nepal is following this policy.


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