PM Modi leaves for maiden bilateral visit to Nepal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for his maiden bilateral visit to fellow SAARC nation Nepal, accompanied by a high level delegation.
Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Nepal in 17 years, and in his departure statement he has said that he hopes to take the Indo-Nepal relationship to an entirely new level.
Modi will hold talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala and is also scheduled to address the country's Constituent Assembly.
"I am excited about my visit and pleased that I am able to go there within weeks of assuming office as Prime Minister," the PM had said in his departure statement.
"My visit reflects our 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. My visit will be the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Nepal in 17 years," he added.
"I was delighted that Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had graced my swearing-in ceremony with his presence, which demonstrated the solidarity of the people of Nepal with India and our shared commitment to democracy. The India-Nepal Joint Commission Meeting chaired by our respective Foreign Ministers also met recently after a long gap of 23 years and reviewed the entire gamut of our bilateral relations and cooperation with a focus on economic relations, trade and connectivity," he further said.
In his statement, Modi has also said that he looks forward to working with the Nepalese leadership to forge a new relationship.
"During my visit, I will have the opportunity to hold detailed discussions with the Nepalese leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations. I look forward to working with the leadership of Nepal to forge a new relationship for the new century between our two rapidly transforming countries," he said.
Describing Nepal as a close friend and neighbour, he said, "As a close friend and neighbour, 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. 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. During the visit, we will explore the ways to further strengthen our development cooperation."
"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 added.
(Posted on 03-08-2014)