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Narendra Modi's Nepal visit has given 'new impetus' to bilateral ties: Sushma Swaraj

Wednesday, 6 August 2014 - 3:15pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Nepal visit has enhanced mutual trust and confidence between the two countries and given a "new impetus, direction and dynamism" to vital ties, government told Parliament today with a resolve to build upon it.

Making a suo motu statement in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the two-day visit that concluded on Monday was "historic and highly successful" with several Nepalese leaders saying he had won their "hearts and minds" and clarified on misgivings.

"...Prime Minister was very satisfied with the outcome of the visit to Nepal. He touched the hearts and minds of all the Nepalese people that was conveyed to him in so many words by his interlocutors...," she said giving details of the talks Modi had with the Nepalese leaders and the announcements made by India for the neighbouring country.

Noting that Modi was according the highest priority to relations with Nepal, Swaraj said the visit "further enhanced the mutual trust and confidence" between the two countries.

"The Prime Minister's visit has given a whole new impetus, new direction and new dynamism to our vital relationship with Nepal, which we are determined to further intensify and build upon," she said.

Swaraj underlined that it was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Nepal in 17 years under the bilateral format and the Prime Minister of the host country Sushil Koirala broke protocol to receive Modi at the airport.

Giving details of the outcome of the visit, she said the two Prime Ministers reviewed the whole gamut of bilateral relations and agreed to review, adjust and update the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 and other bilateral agreements. 

The Prime Ministers of India and Nepal noted with satisfaction the excellent cooperation on security related matters and reiterated that the open border has facilitated movements of people on both sides of the border and has been a unique feature of the bilateral relations, Swaraj said.

The two sides agreed that the border should not be allowed to be misused by unscrupulous elements posing security threats, the External Affairs Minister said.
Nepal and India assured each other not to allow their territory to be used against each other, she said.

Modi made several announcements of Indian assistance for priority projects of Nepal.

The US$ 1 billion line of credit will be over and above the existing US$ 350 million lines of credit to Nepal, she said.

The Terms of Reference of the 5600 MW Pancheshwar Multi-Purpose Project were agreed upon, and the Pancheshwar Development Authority will be set up and the DPR will be finalised soon.

Both sides agreed to conclude a Power Trading Agreement in 45 days, and the Government of Nepal said that a Project Development Agreement (PDA) on the 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project would also be finalized in 45 days.

Both sides expressed the desire for early conclusion of three other PDAs namely the 900 MW Arun-III, the 600 MW Upper Marsyangdi and the 880 MW Tamakoshi-III. They emphasised that development of projects of this size will be a major catalyst for the development of Nepal's enormous hydropower potential. 

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