New Delhi: Vowing to continue India’s support to Nepal’s developmental efforts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a visit there tomorrow about, which he is “excited” and hopes to “open a new chapter” in ties that will serve as a model and catalyst for regional partnership.
He said on Saturday that he looks forward to working with the Nepalese leadership to forge a “new relationship” by identifying steps to strengthen bilateral cooperation in key sectors, including trade and investment, hydropower, agriculture and agro-processing, environment, tourism, education, culture and sports.
Modi, who will be holding talks with his counterpart Sushil Koirala and address business leaders, said he would be discussing how to harness the full potential of the new digital age to empower and create new opportunities for the youth of the two countries.
He will be in Nepal for two days during which the two countries are expected to sign agreements in sectors like power. India may also announce economic aid for that country.
I hope to have fruitful discussions with leaders & lawmakers of Nepal that will take India-Nepal relations to even greater heights.
“I am excited about my visit and pleased that I am able to go there within weeks of assuming office as Prime Minister,” he said in a pre-departure statement on the eve of the first bilateral trip by an Indian Prime Minister to Nepal in 17 years.
“I hope my visit will open a new chapter in India –Nepal relations, characterized by more frequent political engagement and closer cooperation across the full spectrum of our extraordinarily broad-based relations, which will serve as a model and catalyst for South Asian partnership for prosperity,” Modi said.
Describing Nepal as a close friend and neighbour, he said “we have had the privilege of being a leading partner in Nepal’s socio-economic development. We are committed to continuing our support to Nepal in its development efforts.”
The Prime Minister said his visit reflects the shared heritage of nature, history, culture, spiritualism and religion.
“It highlights the high priority that my government attaches to our relations with Nepal and our determination to take our relationship to an entirely new level,” he said.
During the visit, Modi said, he will have the opportunity to hold detailed discussions with the Nepalese leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.
He said he looked forward to working with the leadership of Nepal “to forge a new relationship for the new century between our two rapidly transforming countries.”
Looking forward to visiting Nepal. Nepal & India are time-tested friends & our two nations share a common culture & heritage.
He referred to the recent meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission after a long gap of 23 years and said it reviewed the entire gamut of our bilateral relations and cooperation with a focus on economic relations, trade and connectivity.
“Our ongoing major projects for development of border infrastructure will usher in economic prosperity to people living on both sides of the border and also enhance connectivity,” Modi said.
During the visit, the two sides will explore ways to further strengthen development cooperation, he said.
“I will also discuss with the Nepalese leadership the steps to further strengthen people-to-people contacts between our countries and how to connect lives across our open borders more seamlessly, particularly among the youth,” he said.
Recalling with delight that Koirala had graced his swearing-in ceremony on May 26, Modi said it demonstrated the solidarity of the people of Nepal with India and the shared commitment to democracy.
He said Nepal has made admirable progress in its peace process and political transition towards a multiparty democracy.
“The successful conduct of the Constituent Assembly-cum-Parliamentary elections in November 2013 is yet another tribute to the sagacity of the Nepalese leadership and the people of Nepal,” he said.
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the people and the elected representatives of Nepal for giving him the rare honour of addressing the Parliament of Nepal.
“For me, another significance of this visit is that I will have the opportunity of paying obeisance at Pashupatinath temple on ‘sawan ki somwar’,” Modi said.