India and Nepal ink MoUs on transport and power

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets his Nepalese counterpart Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli and his wife Radhika Shakya during the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday, Feb 20, 2016. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets his Nepalese counterpart Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli and his wife Radhika Shakya during the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday, Feb 20, 2016.
Photo – PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held extensive talks with his Nepal counterpart KP Sharma Oli on Saturday deliberating upon all aspects of the bilateral ties between the two nations. Mr. Oli, who is on a six-day visit to India, stressed that “misunderstanding” which persisted lately “no longer exists”.

PM Modi also emphasised that success of Nepal’s new Constitution will depend on “consensus and dialogue” and India was for peace, stability and overall development of Nepal.

“The announcement of the new Constitution in Nepal came after decades of struggle in Nepal. It is a major achievement. I appreciate the contribution of the political leadership and people of Nepal for it,” Prime Minister Modi said addressing the joint presser at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

“But its success depends on consensus and dialogue. I am confident on the basis of these principles and through political dialogue and by taking all sections together, you (Oli) will be able to resolve all issues relating to the Constitution satisfactorily and take Nepal forward towards the path of development and stability,” he added.

The two sides also inked nine MoUs to expand cooperation in a range of areas including transport and power sectors.

The relationship between the two countries had soured in the wake of agitation by the India-origin Madhesi community against the adoption of new Constitution by Nepal. The agitation along Indo-Nepal border had led to the blockade of essential commodities to Nepal.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects a guard of honour at a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday, Feb 20, 2016. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects a guard of honour at a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday, Feb 20, 2016.
Photo – PTI

The issue of terrorism and ways to combat was also taken up during the talks of two Prime Ministers.

While PM Modi said, “We will not allow terrorists and criminals to use our open border… the security agencies of the two countries will intensify cooperation”, Oli on his part said that India will remain a close friend of Nepal and that the “misunderstandings that persisted between the two countries in the last few months no longer exist”.

The two Prime Ministers also dedicated 400 KV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line via “tele-inauguration” from Hyderabad House. India will supply 80 mega watt of power through the line to Nepal now and it will be enhanced to 600 MW in the next two years.

“India’s assistance has always been constructive. Our actions have been in line with the priorities of people of Nepal,” PM Modi said adding, both sides are working on a number of hydro-power projects in Nepal.

Terming trade and investment are strong pillars of relations between the two countries, he mentioned about the joint initiatives to construct roads in Terai region that is seen as a boost trade and infrastructure.

The Nepalese Prime Minister also thanked PM Modi and people of India for “spontaneous support” in aftermath of earthquake in Nepal last year.

Earlier, Oli was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan where PM Narendra Modi was also present. Before the talks between the Prime Ministers, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Oli. During the meeting, he conveyed to her that Nepal is and will remain a “reliable” friend of India.

(With inputs from the PTI)