Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday assured visiting counterpart from Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli that India is committed to curbing misuse of open borders between the two countries. PM Modi and Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated India - Nepal petroleum products pipeline and an Integrated Check Post at Birgunj near Bihar, Nepal border.
"I invited prime minister Modi to pay a visit to Nepal at the earliest convenient time, I am hopeful that the visit will take place soon", he said.
But an agreement on the proposed Raxaul-Kathmandu railway link indicates a new India-Nepal bonhomie.
He said India will also help Nepal to link the country with waterways, adding both sides will also boost ties in areas of agriculture.
The proposal to link Raxaul to Kathamandu gains significance as it comes almost two years after China, in March 2016, agreed to construct a strategic railway link with Nepal through Tibet with an apparent aim of reducing Kathmandu's dependence on India. We want to erect a strong edifice of trust-based relations between the two close neighbours that we are.
Likewise, Home Minister of Rajnath Singh called on PM Oli on the same day. "With our neighbours, particularly with India, we first expect friendship". The preparatory survey work for this rail link will begin within an year, and the two sides would finalise the implementation and funding modalities of the project based on the Detailed Project Report. 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". While speaking to mediapersons, PM Oli said friendship is most important and there is no comparison with friendship.
The revelation came at a time when India and Nepal were under speculation to change the colour of their relationship under the new leadership of PM Oli, who after the 2016 blockade had been vocal about his discontent with Indian government's policy towards Nepal. Modi also hailed successful conduct of national polls in Nepal under the provisions of the new constitution that has seen Oli's leftist coalition alliance win a strong three-fourths majority.
Trust was the key cementing factor between the two neighbours, he said, noting that it derived strength from principles like "equality, justice, mutual respect and benefit as well as non-interference".
This will enable cost effective and efficient movement of cargo and greatly impact the growth of business and economy of Nepal.
Oli, on his first foreign visit after returning to power for a second term, was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan before he met President Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on the second day of his India trip. We have developed our friendship according to time with a objective to eradicate poverty, improve life standards. "India's abiding interest is in the stability and economic prosperity of Nepal". Our friendship is historical, renewed, developed and is very fruitful. "But for us, hydropower is a main focus and come what may, we will revive the Budhi Gandaki project", he was quoted saying.
During his interaction with Indian businessmen, Oli sought to tap them for investments and promised them ease of doing business in Nepal.
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