Foreign Secretary Shri Vinay Kwatra commenced his two – day official visit to Nepal at the invitation of the Foreign Secretary of Nepal, Mr. Bharat Raj Paudyal, today. The talks held between the two Foreign Secretaries in the morning covered wide ranging discussions on various areas of the multifaceted cooperation between India and Nepal, including development partnership, energy cooperation, trade and economic cooperation, institutional engagements and people to people ties.
Both Foreign Secretaries also reviewed the progress made in the implementation of the commitments made during the Prime Ministerial visits held last year, including in the areas of cross border connectivity, hydropower cooperation, culture, trade and commerce. On railway connectivity, both sides agreed for the early completion and operationalization of the remaining sections of the Jaynagar-Kurtha-Bijalpura-Bardibas and the Jogbani-Biratnagar rail links, as well as taking further steps on the proposed Raxaul-Kathmandu rail link, and committed to expediting the procedural requirements, to enable their early implementation.
The two sides appreciated the progress made in the energy cooperation last year, wherein Nepal is now able to export 452.6 MW power to India, creating additional sources of revenue for Nepal and energy for India. The Nepalese side requested Indian side to explore allowing power export on long term basis. They also requested for utilizing all products of the exchange market in order to further enhance power trade between India and Nepal. The Indian side took note of both the requests. While reiterating commitment to the full implementation of the Joint Vision Statement on Power Sector Cooperation agreed between India and Nepal in April 2022, the two Foreign Secretaries agreed to also work together for mutually beneficial cooperation in the sub-regional context.
Nepalese side also appreciated the special provisions made for Nepal in the export of sugar, wheat and paddy by India, so as to ensure smooth supply of agricultural products to Nepal during the times of global uncertainties.
The two Foreign Secretaries also discussed multilateral and regional cooperation. In this regard, the Nepalese side appreciated the invitation extended by India under its G20 Presidency to Nepal to participate in the G20 Finance Track this year. The Nepalese side also reiterated commitment for early ratification of the International Solar Alliance.
Foreign Secretary Kwatra also called on the Rt Hon’ble President of Nepal, Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari, Rt Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, and Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Nepal, Dr. Bimala Rai Paudyal. During these meetings, the two sides discussed ways to further strengthen the unique ties between our two countries and expanding our multifaceted development cooperation for the benefit of our two peoples.
During the day, Foreign Secretary Kwatra also called on former Prime Ministers Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba and Mr. K.P. Sharma Oli. Continuing his visit tomorrow, Foreign Secretary Kwatra will be meeting other senior members of the Government of Nepal and other leaders.
India and Nepal share a close partnership that is rooted in age-old civilizational and cultural linkages, characterized by strong people to people ties. The visit is in keeping with the tradition of high level exchanges between the two countries.
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