India, Nepal rekindle ties, sign 9 agreements

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20 February 2016

India and Nepal today signed nine agreements, following the delegation-level talks led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli, bringing back the old warmth in their relations.

The two sides also emphasised their mutual dependence, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that India's security depended on Nepal's peaceful environment and his Nepalese counterpart K P Oli thanking India for support during the severe earthquake last year.

''India and Nepal exchanged nine agreements for partnership and progress,'' external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted.

Modi along with Oli today inaugurated 400 KV India-Nepal transmission system in the national capital today, with Modi stressing the need for development of transport corridors between India and Nepal to develop its southern regions.

The 400 KV transmission system inaugurated by Modi and Oli will deliver power from Muzzafarpur in India to Dhalkebar in Nepal.

Expressing his deep concern over the unrest in Nepal since last few months, Modi said that both countries can only develop when there is a peace in the region. Dwelling on the Madhesi agitation in Nepal, Modi said India's security depended on Nepal's peaceful environment. ''This is quite clear that Nepal's stability is co-related with India's security,'' he added.

Oli thanked the Narendra Modi government for all the support during the earthquake that hit Nepal last year. He applauded India for its economic growth and said that this is just the beginning.

''I sincerely thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and people of India for their spontaneous support in aftermath of earthquake that hit us last year. India is now emerging as one of economic power houses and we congratulate them for this,'' he said.

Oli said his mission was to clear the miscommunication and differences between the two countries since last couple of months and to see that relations are back to the level that both countries benefit.

''The main reason for which I am visiting India is to clear the misunderstandings that have settled in last few months.''

Other agreements include one on utilisation of Indian grant of $250 million for post-earthquake reconstruction, improving road infrastructure in Nepal's Terai area, cultural cooperation, transit between Nepal and Bagladesh through Kakarbitta-Banglabandh corridor, operationalisation of Vishakapatnam port and rail transport to and from Vishakapatnam.

The visit of Oli, who arrived here on Friday, is the first bilateral visit by a Prime Minister from the Himalayan nation since 2011 when Baburam Bhattarai visited India.

In 2014, then Prime Minister Sushil Koirala visited India for the swearing-in ceremony of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

In August 2014, Modi paid a bilateral visit to Nepal, the first by an Indian prime minister in 17 years.

Modi again went in November 2014 for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in Kathmandu.

Earlier on Saturday, Oli was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, where he inspected a guard of honour.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj also called on the visiting dignitary, during which Swaraj emphasised on the natural and civilisational relationship between the two countries.

Oli's visit assumes significance in the backdrop of the adoption of a new constitution in Nepal after violent protests in the country's southern plains led to a constitutional crisis in the Himalayan nation.





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