Abril 25, 2018

India, Nepal decide to boost cooperation, speed up connectivity projects

08 Abril 2018, 05:38 | Crisanna Felipe

Modi holds talks with Nepal prime minister, announces new railway, petroleum products line

India-Nepal move ahead on the fuel pipeline project

"Neighbourhood realities make peaceful coexistence, based on the principles of equality, justice, mutual respect and benefits a necessity for shared destiny", Oli said in the statement in presence of Modi.

The differing choice of words displayed the sense of disquiet in the relationship between the two countries, which has been strained in the last couple of years. "India expressed appreciation for Nepal's commitment to expeditiously resolve all outstanding issues, including land availability, for the ongoing rail link projects". "We want to create a model relationship", Oli said.

This is Oli's first visit to India after became the Prime Minister of Nepal for the second time in February this year after the Left Alliance swept the elections in November-December 2017.

"Inter-dependence takes many forms between our countries".

"Amity with all and enmity with none is our motto in foreign policy".

India in the recent past has been monitoring the growing Chinese influence in Nepal which the Nepalese Premier made very clear that Nepal will maintain relations with all its friendly neighbours.

"The prime ministers of India and Nepal recognised the untapped potential of inland waterways to contribute towards overall economic development of the region", the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement. They (India and China) are more developed and advanced than us.

Nepal shares a 1,850-kilometer (1,150-mile) open border with India, which is also the Himalayan country's largest trading partner.

India has opposed the CPEC as it runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The Madhesis say the new Constitution is discriminatory to their interests. He also highlighted the alarming trade deficit and stressed the need to implement measures to expand Nepal's exports.

The nine-month long blockade in 2016 had impacted the border post at Birgunj severely, with long lines of trucks waiting for clearance for days as Madheshi activists picketed the trade junction. "The Chinese railway is expected to reach the Nepal border by 2022", Yu Hong was quoted as saying.

Modi also said the two countries agreed to lay a new railway line to link Kathmandu with India.

"There are cross-border terrorism and disruptive forces so India is not ready to take part in the summit", said Gokhale, admitting that Saarc and other regional organisations were mentioned in the meeting. Addressing the media, Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary, while answering a query about "One Belt, One Road", said, "China was not discussed in any of the bilateral talks between the two Prime Ministers. Today, we reviewed the progress in various such connectivity projects", he said.

Reciprocating the goodwill, PM Modi said, "Through our efforts, Nepal will get extra connectivity to the ocean".

The President said that India holds him in the highest regard for his leadership and contribution to advancing the cause of India-Nepal partnership.

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