Modi says India's ties with Nepal are 'unparalleled' a day before Lumbini visit

Modi said both sides will continue to build on the shared understanding to expand cooperation in multiple areas, including hydropower, development and connectivity.

May 15, 2022
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Modi says India's ties with Nepal are 'unparalleled' a day before Lumbini visit

India's ties with Nepal are "unparalleled", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, a day ahead of his visit to Lumbini, the town where Buddha was born, on the festive occasion of Buddha Purnima. In a statement, Modi said he was looking forward to meeting Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba again after their "productive" discussions during his visit to India last month.  It will be Modi's fifth visit to Nepal since he came to power in 2014.

Modi said both sides will continue to build on the shared understanding to expand cooperation in multiple areas, including hydropower, development and connectivity.

"Our ties with Nepal are unparalleled. The civilisational and people-to-people contacts between India and Nepal form the enduring edifice of our close relationship," Modi said in his departure statement.

"My visit is intended to celebrate and further deepen these time-honoured linkages that have been fostered through centuries and recorded in our long history of inter-mingling," he said.

Modi will be paying a day-long visit to Lumbini Monday on the occasion of Buddha Purnima and hold important talks centred around drawing the two countries closer to keep Kathmandu out of the Chinese dragon's strategic embrace.  "I look forward to offering prayers at the Mayadevi Temple on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti. I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of millions of Indians to pay reverence at the sacred site of Lord Buddha's birth," Modi said.

The growing New Delhi-Kathmandu bonhomie, which began with a visit by Deuba to New Delhi last month, was aimed at "discouraging Chinese investment in Nepal and promoting sub-regional cooperation through power trade amongst BBIN member countries. Certain differences between Nepal and China mainly on account of the closing of the border and the positive attitude shown by India to boost the growth of the Nepalese economy developed a high level of trust between the two countries, which might ensure larger economic cooperation for the benefit of the people of the two countries in future, wrote Hari Bans Jha, a Visiting Fellow at Observer Research Foundation.

(SAM)

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