PM Narendra Modi to visit Nepal tomorrow with hope to open new chapter

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 3 2014, 01:08am hrs
Vowing to continue India's support to Nepal's developmental efforts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a visit there tomorrow about which he is "excited" and hopes to "open a new chapter" in ties that will serve as a model and catalyst for regional partnership.

He said today that he looks forward to working with the Nepalese leadership to forge a "new relationship" by identifying steps to strengthen bilateral cooperation in key sectors, including trade and investment, hydropower, agriculture and agro-processing, environment, tourism, education, culture and sports.

Modi, who will be holding talks with his counterpart Sushil Koirala and address business leaders, said he will be discussing how to harness the full potential of the new digital age to empower and create new opportunities for the youth of the two countries.

He will be in Nepal for two days during which the two countries are expected to sign agreements in sectors like power. India may also announce economic aid for that country.

"I am excited about my visit and pleased that I am able to go there within weeks of assuming office as Prime Minister," he said in a pre-departure statement on the eve of the first bilateral trip by an Indian Prime Minister to Nepal in 17 years.

"I hope my visit will open a new chapter in India -Nepal relations, characterized by more frequent political engagement and closer cooperation across the full spectrum of our extraordinarily broad-based relations, which will serve as a model and catalyst for South Asian partnership for prosperity," Modi said.

Describing Nepal as a close friend and neighbour, he said "we have had the privilege of being a leading partner in Nepal's socio-economic development. We are committed to continuing our support to Nepal in its development efforts."