PM Modi describes Nepal visit as ‘historic’


Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, may 12, 2018. PTI

Describing his two-day Nepal visit as “historic”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the talks with Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli were “productive” and his trip has added new vigour to India-Nepal ties.

“My Nepal visit was historic. It gave me a great opportunity to connect with the wonderful people of Nepal,” Modi tweeted at the end of his third trip to Nepal since assuming office in 2014.

Stating that his talks with Prime Minister Oli were “productive”, Modi said his trip has added new vigour to India-Nepal relations. “…I reiterated India’s strong support to Nepal as they pursue their development agenda…,” Modi said.

A joint statement issued today said the two Prime Ministers agreed to maintain the momentum generated by the visit by taking effective measures for the implementation of all the agreements and understandings reached in the past.

They also agreed that effective implementation of the bilateral initiatives in agriculture, railway linkages and inland waterways development, as agreed upon by the two sides during the recent visit of Prime Minister Oli to India, would have transformational impact in these areas, it said.

The two leaders reiterated their resolve to work together to take bilateral relations to newer heights by strengthening ongoing cooperation in diverse spheres as well as expanding partnership for socio-economic development on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual trust, respect and mutual benefit, the statement said.

They emphasised the need for regular convening of bilateral mechanisms, including Nepal-India Joint Commission at Foreign/External Affairs Ministers level, to review the overall state of bilateral relations, and for the expeditious implementation of the economic and development cooperation projects.

They welcomed the outcome of the recently held Inter-Governmental Committee meeting on Trade, Transit and Cooperation to control unauthorized trade to jointly initiate a comprehensive review of the bilateral Treaty of Trade, and to consider amendments to the Treaty of Transit and related Agreements with a view to further facilitating Nepal’s access to the Indian market, enhancing overall bilateral trade, and facilitating Nepal’s transit trade, the statement said.

The two leaders agreed to take further steps to enhance the economic and physical connectivity by air, land, and water.  They also directed their officials to expand cooperation in civil aviation sector, including early technical discussion on additional air entry routes to Nepal by respective technical teams.

They reiterated the importance of advancing cooperation in water resources for mutual benefit in areas such as river training works, inundation and flood management, irrigation, and to enhance pace of implementation of ongoing bilateral projects. They also expressed satisfaction over constitution of the joint team, which will visit areas affected by inundation and floods and consider appropriate measures for sustainable solution.

The two Prime Ministers also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in power sector in line with the bilateral Power Trade Agreement.

They also directed their officials to address outstanding matters by September 2018, with the objective of advancing cooperation in all areas.

The two leaders underscored the importance of regional and sub-regional cooperation under BIMSTEC, SAARC, and BBIN frameworks for forging meaningful cooperation in identified sectors.

Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Oli to pay a visit to India. Oli accepted the invitation; dates will be finalized through diplomatic channels.

(With inputs from PTI)