Enhancing India-Nepal Partnership: Modi and Prachanda Review Progress on Joint Initiatives

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Pushpa Kamal Dahal held a telephone conversation on Saturday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Saturday reviewed bilateral cooperation and followed up on discussions held during the latter’s visit to India earlier this year.

These issues figured in a telephone conversation between Modi and Dahal, also known as Prachanda, the external affairs ministry said in a readout. Dahal had visited India in May-June, and the two sides unveiled several initiatives at the time to ramp up energy cooperation, including increasing import of hydropower from Nepal and allowing power exports to Bangladesh.

“The two leaders reviewed various aspects of bilateral cooperation and followed up on discussions held during Prachanda’s visit to India from May 31 to June 3 so as to advance the bilateral partnership and to further strengthen the deep bonds of friendship between the two countries,” the readout said without giving details.

Nepal is a “close and friendly neighbour” and a key partner in India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy, the ministry said. “The phone conversation continues the tradition of high-level exchanges between the two countries,” the readout added.

During Dahal’s visit, the two countries launched several projects to improve rail connectivity for passenger travel and trade, inaugurated a new integrated check post to boost cross-border trade, and unveiled plans to extend South Asia’s first cross-border petroleum pipeline and to build a second such pipeline.

The two sides also signed seven agreements, including the revised Treaty of Transit that will, for the first time, give Nepal access to India’s inland waterways, and a memorandum of understanding between the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Nepal Clearing House Limited (NHCL) for faster cross-border payments to benefit businesses, students and tourists.

Source: Hindustan Times