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India will continue to be a friend of Nepal in its development, says Modi

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on April 07, 2018 Published on April 07, 2018

Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli with his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hand, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on Saturday. - Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India will continue to be a “friend” of Nepal even as it will assist in its developmental plans. He also said India is going to put more emphasis on the issue of connectivity between both the countries by upgrading rail and road links.

In a move that seemed to be made keeping China’s increasing inroads in Nepal in mind, Modi on Saturday announced establishment of a crucial railway link between Kathmandu and Raxaul apart from an inland waterway system.

This was announced by the Prime Minister post his meeting with his Nepali counterpart KPS Oli, who is on a two-day visit here.

Bilateral relations

“Prime Minister Oli stated that his government attaches high importance to further strengthening friendly relations with India. He expressed the desire of the Government of Nepal to develop bilateral relations in a way so as to benefit from India’s progress and prosperity for economic transformation and development. Prime Minister Modi assured Prime Minister Oli that India remains committed to strengthening its partnership with Nepal as per the priorities of the Government of Nepal,” stated a joint statement issued after the meeting.

Modi and Oli also jointly inaugurated an integrated check post (ICP) to be located at Birganj-Raxaul border. Both leaders hoped that its early operationalization will enhance cross-border trade and transit of goods and movement of people bringing greater opportunities for shared growth and development.

Apart from the main joint statement, both sides also issued three separate joint statements India-Nepal: New Partnership in Agriculture, Expanding Rail Linkages: Connecting Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal and New Connectivity between India and Nepal through Inland Waterways.

Game changer

According to Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, these projects will prove to be a “game changer” in Indo-Nepal ties.

The two Prime Ministers also witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj cross-border petroleum products pipeline at Motihari.

This is Oli’s second visit to India as Prime Minister of the Himalayan nation.

“Nepal has now completed a very crucial transitional face after completing the three tiers of elections … During this transition we need support of our friends,” Oli said.

Prime Minister Oli also stated that after the landmark political transformation, his government has given priority to economic transformation with the motto ‘Samriddha Nepal Sukhi Nepali’.

Prime Minister Modi stated that the government’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ is a guiding framework for India’s engagement with its neighbours for a shared vision of inclusive development and prosperity.

Published on April 07, 2018
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