India has offered to upgrade cross-border road and rail links with Nepal and develop inland waterways to provide sea connectivity to the landlocked Himalayan nation, as well as deeper cooperation in trade, agriculture, and energy.
India has offered to upgrade cross-border road and rail links with Nepal and develop inland waterways to provide sea connectivity to the landlocked Himalayan nation, as well as deeper cooperation in trade, agriculture, and energy. The announcement was made on Saturday after delegation-level talks between Indian and Nepalese officials chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli, who is on a three-day visit. Three separate joint statements on key areas of mutual interest were issued, including new partnership in agriculture, connecting Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal by rail and new connectivity between India and Nepal through inland waterways. The objective, it was said, is to expand ‘connectivity’ between the two neighbours and “enhance people-to-people linkages and promote economic growth and development”. Modi said India will always stand by Nepal in its quest for all-round growth, asserting that deeper cooperation between the two neighbours will strengthen democracy in Nepal. Oli, who is seen as favouring a closer relationship with China, said his government wants to build a strong edifice of ‘trust-based’ relationship between the two nations. “Relations between neighbours are different from those of others. Neighbourhood realities make peaceful coexistence, based on the principles of equality, justice, mutual respect and benefits a necessity for shared destiny,” Oli said in the statement of Modi. Both the Prime Ministers called the talks ‘very satisfactory’.