India is looking forward to expanding its economic and development co-operation with Nepal, as per the “national priorities” of the Himalayan neighbour, President Ram Nath Kovind said today. Kovind welcomed Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here and congratulated him on assuming the post for the fourth time. “He expressed happiness that the Prime Minister of Nepal is the first foreign dignitary to stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan during his Presidency, and thanked Mr. Deuba for accepting his invitation,” said a statement from the Press Secretary to the President, Ashok Malik. The President congratulated the government and people of Nepal for successfully conducting two phases of local elections. “He also conveyed his best wishes for the conduct of the upcoming provincial and federal elections in Nepal,” it said.
The statement said the President condoled the loss of lives and destruction of property during recent floods in Nepal and said the government and the people of India were committed to stand by Nepal. “The President expressed satisfaction on the state of India-Nepal relations which have seen eight high-level visits in the past three years,” it said.
India-Nepal relations derive their strength from a shared history, common culture, trade links and an open border, Kovind said, adding that it was symbolised by the “national” treatment both countries give to each other’s citizens. “India is looking forward to expanding its economic and development cooperation with Nepal, as per Nepal’s national priorities,” the statement quoting the President said.