India, Nepal to boost ties in defence, trade

Delhi to open waterways, rail link to Kathmandu

New Delhi

Trying to reset the bilateral ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oil on Saturday held wide-ranging talks and agreed to step up two-way engagement in key areas of defence and security, connectivity, trade and agriculture.
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.
On his part, Oli, who is seen a leader who wants to develop closer relationship with China, said his government wants to build a strong edifice of “trust-based” relationship between the two nations.
“I have come to India with an aim to enhance our relations to newer heights commensurate with the realities of the 21st century,” he said.
The prime minister said India will continue to support Nepal according to that country’s priorities, adding both sides have agreed to expedite all connectivity projects. Modi also said the two countries agreed on laying a new railway line to link Kathmandu with India.
India pledged to upgrade road and cross-border rail links with Nepal and develop inland waterways to provide sea connectivity to the landlocked Himalayan nation.
Modi also said both sides would like to jointly start a new rail link connecting Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, with India.
“I invited PM Modi to pay a visit to Nepal at the earliest convenient time, I am hopeful that the visit will take place soon,” he said.
Modi said there has been a long history of India’s contribution towards Nepal’s development and that he has assured Oli that it will continue.
He said India will also help Nepal to link the country with waterways, adding both sides will also boost ties in areas of agriculture.—HT

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