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India, Nepal Talks: Foreign Secretaries Agree To Step Up Efforts For Advance Mutual Cooperation

Kathmandu: India and Nepal on Thursday agreed to step up efforts to advance mutual cooperation throughout a “productive” assembly between International Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and his Nepalese counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal.

Shringla started his two-day official go to to Nepal on Thursday. He was accorded a heat welcome on his maiden go to to Nepal which is going on on the invitation of Nepal International Secretary Paudyal, amid a pressure in bilateral ties following a bitter border row between the 2 international locations.

“FS @harshvshringla had a productive meeting with @PaudyalBR during which they took stock of bilateral cooperation and discussed issues of mutual interest,” the Indian embassy in Kathmandu mentioned in a tweet.

“Both sides appreciated the progress made on the numerous bilateral initiatives and projects. It was agreed to take further steps to advance mutual cooperation,” it mentioned in one other tweet.

Shringla arrived at Tribhuvan Worldwide in Kathmandu on Thursday morning.

Whereas interacting with native journalists, he mentioned, “I have wanted to come here earlier also, but because of COVID-19 I couldn’t do so. I am very happy to be here. I was here in Kathmandu earlier too, though this is my first visit to Nepal as a Foreign Secretary. We have very strong relationship. Our endeavour will be to see how we can take that relationship forward”.

“I would like to thank the government of Nepal, the foreign secretary for the warm hospitality extended to us. We have some very good meetings ahead of us and we will look forward to how that goes. My first meeting will be with the Nepalese Foreign Secretary and then I will meet Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali. I will also hold meetings with high dignitaries in Kathmandu,” he mentioned.

Shringla’s go to will likely be a continuation of the common trade of high-level visits between the 2 pleasant neighbours, the Nepalese International Ministry mentioned in a press release this week.

He’s additionally scheduled to name on Nepal Prime Minister Ok P Sharma Oli and President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Thursday. On Friday, he’ll give a lecture on India-Nepal relations at Resort Soaltee Crown Plaza in Kathmandu and can examine three colleges constructed underneath Indian help at Gorkha, the epicenter of the 2015 earthquake, it mentioned.

Shringla can even hand over COVID-19-related help to the Authorities of Nepal earlier than wrapping up his two-day go to on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pledged to assemble 50,000 homes in Gorkha, the epicentre of the 2015 earthquake.The development of forty thousand homes has already been accomplished there.

“We have also focused in education sector. India has also rebuilt school buildings in Gorkha district. He will inaugurate three school buildings built in Gorkha under India’s assistance,” he mentioned.

Shringla can even inaugurate a Buddhist monastery in Manang district located in distant mountainous area of Nepal close to Tibetan border, which was renovated underneath India’s help.

Earlier this month, Indian Military chief Gen. M M Naravane travelled to Nepal on a three-day go to throughout which he held talks with Nepal’s prime management and mentioned bilateral relations.

Throughout the go to, he referred to as on Prime Minister Oli, who can also be the Defence Minister of Nepal. Oli informed him that issues between Nepal and India can be resolved via dialogue.

Gen Naravane’s three-day go to to Nepal was largely geared toward resetting bilateral ties that got here underneath extreme pressure following a bitter border row between the 2 international locations.

The ties between the 2 international locations got here underneath pressure after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically essential street connecting the Lipulekh move with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on Could 8.

Nepal protested the inauguration of the street claiming that it handed via its territory.

Days later, Nepal got here out with the brand new map displaying Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories.

After Nepal launched the map, India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and cautioning Kathmandu that such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims is not going to be acceptable to it.

In its response, after Nepal’s decrease home of parliament authorised the invoice, India had additionally termed as untenable the “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims by the neighbouring nation.

India had mentioned Nepal’s motion violates an understanding reached between the 2 international locations to resolve the boundary points via talks.

In the meantime, Chinese language Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe is scheduled to go to Nepal shortly after Shringla returns residence, in accordance with International Ministry sources right here.

Wei is more likely to arrive right here on Sunday on a four-day official go to, although the date of the journey is but to be formally introduced.

(With PTI Inputs)

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