PM Modi meets Nepalese counterpart OP Oli

Saul Bowman
April 8, 2018

After the talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will always stand by Nepal in its quest for all-round growth, asserting that deeper cooperation between the neighbours will strengthen democracy in Nepal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following his talks with PM K P Oli (who is here on his maiden trip overseas after being re-elected PM), said India would also help Nepal in the field of agriculture through organic farming, soil testing and education in farming. Areas for development include hydro-power generation plants, railways linking the 2 countries. Alongside these projects, they will also bring into discussion the issues related to trade deficit and would stress on India to complete previously made infrastructure projects with many of them limping along for decades.

Gokhale insisted China's growing footprint in Nepal was not discussed as the talks were focused on the bilateral relationship with some reference to regional issues, with Oli flagging the stalled Saarc process and the BBIN (Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal) initiative for vehicular movement across the subcontinent. India abiding interest is in the stability and economic prosperity of Nepal.

Prime Minister Oli stated that after the landmark political transformation, his government has given priority to economic transformation with the motto Samriddha Nepal Sukhi Nepali.

"We are firm in our resolve to maintain this position and it is natural that we expect a similar assurance from India", Oli said.

The visiting Prime Minister said that Nepal wants to play friendly neighbourly relations, neighbourly policy but for his country friendship with India is most important.

The two prime ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire spectrum of multifaceted ties between the two countries.

KP Oli meets Narendra Modi Ram Nath Kovind India Nepal agree to speed up connectivity projects

But Foreign Secretary Gokhale said the circumstances in 2016 and current times were different, adding that the government of Nepal was elected on the basis of the Constitution. We need support and cooperation of our friends.

Modi had yesterday met the Nepalese prime minister at the Prime Minister's official residence here.

The connectivity proposals are significant and come almost two years after China in March 2016 agreed to construct a strategic railway link with Nepal through Tibet to reduce the Kathmandu's total dependence on India. "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 Nepalese prime minister is on a state visit to India from 6 to 8 April, at the invitation his Indian counterpart. "I look for India's support for economic growth of Nepal".

Earlier in the day, speaking to reporters after the ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Oli said the "historical" and "renewed" friendship between India and Nepal was oriented towards the future and the bilateral ties had evolved according to the "needs of times".

On his part, Oli, who is seen as a leader who wants to develop a closer relationship with China, said his government wants to build a strong edifice of "trust-based" relationship between the two nations. "We will work together to stop misuse of our open border", he said. Nepal's fuel import bill is said to have trebled in the last five years.

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