India and Nepal have agreed to enhance economic and development ties
Kathmandu, Feb 13 (PTI) India and Nepal on Monday agreed to further enhance their economic and development cooperation after Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra met Nepalese Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Boutyal and reviewed the broader bilateral partnership.
Foreign Secretary Khwatra is here on a two-day official visit and held talks with the country’s top political leadership on multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.
“External Secretary Shri Vinay Quadra met his Minister of State Mr. Bharat Raj Boutyal and reviewed the wide-ranging India-Nepal partnership,” the Indian Embassy here tweeted.
“Both sides agreed to further strengthen economic and development cooperation to the benefit of both countries and the region as a whole,” it said.
During his visit, Kwatra, who was the Indian ambassador here, paid a courtesy call on Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpagamal Dahal ‘Prasanda’ and Foreign Minister Boudyal.
Kwatra is also expected to discuss with his Nepalese interlocutors the possibility of Nepali Prime Minister Prashant visiting India. Prashantha said that he will go to India as his first foreign trip.
Nepal and India will discuss various issues such as bilateral cooperation, connectivity, e-commerce, agriculture, health and culture, Nepal’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
“The visit is a continuation of the regular exchange of visits between the two friendly neighbours,” it said.
This will be the first high-level visit from India since Prime Minister Prashanth took office for a third term in December.
Kwatra is also expected to meet top political leaders of Nepal, including Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Duba and CPN-UML President KP Sharma Oli.
“The visit is in line with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and India prioritises its relations with Nepal under its ‘neighbourhood first’ policy,” the External Affairs Ministry said.
India’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy is an integral part of India’s foreign policy. The policy seeks to build harmonious and integrated relations with India’s South Asian neighbors in various fields such as economy, science and technology, research and education.
Nepal is important for India in the context of its overall strategic interests in the region, and the leaders of the two countries have often noted the age-old “Roti Beti” relationship.
The country shares more than 1,850 km of border with five Indian states: Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Landlocked Nepal is heavily dependent on India for transportation of goods and services. PTI MRJ AKJ MRJ