India will strengthen bilateral relationship according to Nepal's priorities: Modi

  • India will strengthen bilateral relationship according to Nepal's priorities: Modi

India will strengthen bilateral relationship according to Nepal's priorities: Modi

Ties between the two countries have been strained after border blockade in 2015, for which many in Kathmandu blame India, economically crippled the landlocked country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepali counterpart Khadga Prasad Oli issued a joint statement on Saturday in New Delhi after holding bilateral discussions. It is learnt that during his discussion with Modi, Oli said, "Nepal has entered a new era of stability". The two leaders emphasized the importance of implementing the remaining three links under Phase-II of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link projects: (i) New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta, (b) Nautanwa-Bhairahawa, and (c) Nepalgunj Road-Nepalgunj. "Any treaty, any agreement, everything starts from friendship", he said.

Modi said India's contribution to the development of the Himalayan neighbour would continue. "A feeling of understanding, cooperation and mutual trust is necessary", he said. Modi and Oli also inaugurated Birgunj-Raxaul Integrated Check Post and witnessed the ground breaking ceremony of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj cross-border petroleum products pipeline at Motihari.

The two Prime Ministers agreed that the visit has imparted new dynamism to the multifaceted partnership between the two countries. 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. As a first step towards building the railway connectivity, the two sides agreed that India in consultation with Nepal will carry out preparatory survey work within one year.

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj called on him before the two Prime Ministers held delegation level meeting at Hyderabad House.

The the two prime ministers agreed to construct the new electrified rail line, which will be financed by India, connecting the border city in India to Nepal, according to a statement issued by the government.

"As friendly neighbours, our two countries need to be aware of and have respect for each others concerns and sensitivities".

He said that it will be a big thing to maintain good relationship between the two countries. "We both agree to prevent the abuse of our open border, and to pursue our shared security interests", Modi said. We have developed our friendship according to time with a goal to eradicate poverty, improve life standards.

Acknowledging India's continued support to Nepal, Oli said, "We want to erect a strong edifice of trust-based relationship between the two close neighbours that we are". "With our neighbours, particularly with India, we first expect friendship".

Further stressing on the relations with India, Oli added, "Our foreign policy that defines our relations is to strengthen it and lay the foundation of it, but not weaken it".

"I have come to India this time with a mission to explore ways and means to enhance our relations to newer heights, commensurate with the realities of the 21st century".

Oli lauded India's timely assistance in the financial and infrastructural development of Nepal. "India stands ready to expand cooperation with Nepal as per Nepal's priorities", the President tweeted after receiving Oli.