INDIA & Nepal Reaffirm Commitment To Strengthen Cooperation In Various Socio Economic Activities

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has returned to Delhi after a 2-day official visit to Nepal where he had bilateral discussion with his counterpart OP Sharma Oli .The Nepal’s PM had last month met him and his colleagues in Delhi after formation of the government in the Himalayan nation. Nepal having  also international border with China  has assured India that its territory will not be allowed to be used against the neighbouring  nation.PM Modi has committed that India will help Nepal to achieve  economic  development like Sherpas who help mountaineers reach the summit of Mount Everest and other peaks. Briefing reporters at the end of Prime Minister Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Saturday it was a “significant statement” made by Prime Minister Oli that his country’s territory will not be allowed against and We are satisfied with discussions.”Oli reiterated that Nepal would be sensitive to India’s interests and its territory would not be used against India,” Gokhale said. Nepal shares a border of over 1,850 kms in the east, south and west with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.  There has been a long tradition of free movement of people across the borders sharing family ties and culture. Travellers from both sides do not need visas. During a joint press meet yesterday after a one-on-one meeting with Oli, Modi had said the open borders between India and Nepal plays an important role in the strong bilateral ties.”We will not allow its misuse by anti-social elements,” Modi said after the marathon delegation-level talks during which the two sides had extensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship.”We have agreed to further strengthen our joint efforts on defense and security to control cross-border crimes that have been taking place by misusing our open-borders that are quite important for people on both the sides,” he said.Indo-Nepal border is open, porous and thickly populated. The movement of people across the border is governed by Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, 1950, which provides for free movement of citizens of both the countries across the border. During her meeting with Prime Minister Modi, Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari said high-level visits strengthen people-to-people contact. PM Oli on Friday urged his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to allow exchange of demonetised high-value Indian currency notes held by the country’s banks and the general public at the earliest. According to the Nepal’s national bank, the Nepal Rashtra Bank (NRB), nearly 33.6 million Indian rupees in Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 banknotes are currently in the Nepali banking channel.”I requested Modi Ji to facilitate the exchange of demonetised currency notes held in the Nepali banking system and by general public, at the earliest,” Oli said at a joint press meet after their bilateral talks. Gokhale said Nepali leaders who called on Prime Minister Modi expressed confidence that his visit to cultural places like Janakpur and Muktinath would enhance tourism. The two countries have agreed to an informal timeline to discuss all matters by September this year. The two leaders also discussed implementation of various India assisted projects in Nepal and decided to bridge the implementation gap in some of the projects, the foreign secretary said. Replying to a question, Gokhale said there was no discussion on the issue of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Nepal is the current chair of the SAARC and its headquarters is located in Kathmandu.

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