NEW DELHI, Sept 13: Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on Tuesday held talks with his visiting Nepalese counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal and took stock of the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation, also covering trade, connectivity, culture and people-to-people relations.
Paudyal is on two-day visit to India from September 13.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two foreign secretaries noted with appreciation the progress on many projects.
Kwatra and Paudyal also reviewed the implementation of initiatives announced during Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s visit to India in April and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s trip to Lumbini in May.
“The foreign secretaries reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation between India and Nepal, including economic and commercial cooperation, enhancing connectivity, development cooperation, trade, culture and people-people relations,” it said in a statement.
The MEA said the recent progress in bilateral cooperation in power sector, including export of power from Nepal to India, was appreciated by the two foreign secretaries.
“It was also agreed that both sides will work to further strengthen such cooperation in keeping with the joint vision statement on power sector cooperation adopted during the visit of PM of Nepal to India in April,” the MEA said.
Both sides also welcomed recent signing of the Memorandums of Understanding between India’s NHPC and Investment Board Nepal (IBN) on the development of West Seti and SR-6 projects.
“In terms of connectivity projects, the progress made in the operationalisation of Kurta-Bijalpura segment of Jayanagar-Bardibas rail link and Bathnaha-Nepal Custom Yard segment of Jogbani-Biratnagar rail link, which are significant steps in further strengthening the people-people links, was noted with satisfaction,” the MEA said.
“The Nepali side appreciated the COVID-19 assistance provided by India during the pandemic and also thanked the Indian side for keeping the supply lines of trade open, even during the peak of the lockdown,” it said.
The MEA said both sides agreed to expeditiously progress on project proposals for the Ramayana Circuit to further strengthen people-to-people links.
“Both sides also agreed to expeditiously implement the extension of petroleum pipeline from Amlekhgunj to Chitwan and construction of an LPG pipeline from Motihari to Chitwan,” it said.
“The visit of the foreign secretary of Nepal is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries,” the MEA said. (PTI)