Nepal visit reflects Govt’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy: PM

NEW DELHI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described his two-day visit to Nepal as a reflection of his government’s commitment to “neighbourhood first” policy, and said as the Himalayan state entered a new era, India would continue to remain its steadfast partner.

Modi will visit the Himalayan nation tomorrow and it will be his third visit to that country as prime minister.

“It reflects the high priority, India, and personally I, attach to our age-old, close and friendly ties with Nepal,” the PM said in a statement.

He said his visit closely follows the state visit of Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to India last month.

“These high-level and regular interactions reflect my government’s commitment to the ‘neighbourhood first’ policy, in consonance with the motto of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’,” the statement said.

Modi said the two countries have completed several bilateral connectivity and development projects in the last few years, and initiated transformational initiatives for the benefit of their people.

“Prime Minister Oli and I will have the opportunity to take forward our recent wide-ranging discussions in New Delhi on issues of mutual interest, and to advance our cooperative partnership across diverse sectors,” he said.

“As Nepal enters a new era of consolidating gains of democracy and achieving rapid economic growth and development, India will continue to remain a steadfast partner of government of Nepal to implement its vision of ‘samriddha Nepal, sukhi Nepali’ (prosperous Nepal, happy Nepal),” read the statement.

In addition to Kathmandu, Modi said he was also looking forward to visiting Janakpur and Muktinath. Both these places attract a large number of pilgrims every year.

“They are living testimony to the ancient and strong cultural and religious ties between the peoples of India and Nepal,” he said.

The prime minister said he was also looking forward to meeting the political leaders and friends in Nepal.

“I am confident that my visit will further cement our people-centric partnership with Nepal on the basis of mutual benefit, goodwill and understanding,” Modi noted.  (AGENCIES)