New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Nepalese counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli on Friday witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj cross-border petroleum products pipeline as India made it clear that it was committed to strengthen the partnership with Nepal according to the latter’s priorities.
A joint statement released during the state visit of Oli said that the two leaders comprehensively reviewed the entire spectrum of multifaceted ties between the two countries.
The two leaders also made three separate joint statements – on a new partnership in agriculture, expanding rail linkages and new connectivity through inland waterways.
Congratulating the people and the government of Nepal for successful conduct of local level, federal parliament and first-ever provincial elections in Nepal and appreciated their vision for stability and development, he assured Oli that “India remains committed to strengthening its partnership with Nepal as per the priorities of the Government of Nepal”.
Modi said his government’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ was a guiding framework for India’s engagement with its neighbours for a shared vision of inclusive development and prosperity.
Oli said his government attaches high importance to further strengthening friendly relations with India and expressed the desire to develop bilateral relations in a way as to benefit from India’s progress and prosperity for economic development.
He said his Government has given priority to economic transformation with the motto ‘Samriddha Nepal Sukhi Nepali’ after the landmark political transformation.
Inaugurating the Integrated Check Post at Birgunj in Nepal, both leaders hoped that its early operationalization will enhance cross-border trade and transit of goods and movement of people bringing greater opportunities for shared growth and development.
The two prime ministers witnessed the ground breaking ceremony of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj cross-border petroleum products pipeline at Bihar’s Motihari.
The statement on expanding rail linkages said the two agreed to construct a new electrified rail line, with India’s financial support, connecting the border city of Raxaul to Kathmandu.
India will carry out preparatory survey work within one year and the two sides would finalise the implementation and funding modalities of the project based on the Detailed Project Report.
The two leaders appreciated the progress made in the implementation of Phase-I of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link projects. They noted that the stretch of railway lines from Jayanagar to Janakpur/Kurtha and from Jogbani to Biratnagar Custom Yard will be completed in 2018 and that work on the remaining stretch of the ongoing rail link projects: (a) Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas and (b) Jogbani-Biratnagar, will be taken forward on priority.
India expressed appreciation for Nepal’s commitment to expeditiously resolve all outstanding issues, including land availability, for the ongoing rail link projects.
The India-Nepal Joint Working Group would identify requirements for operating train services on these cross-border rail links and finalize the bilateral modalities expeditiously.
The two leaders emphasised the importance of implementing the remaining three links under Phase-II of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link projects: (a) New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta (b) Nautanwa-Bhairahawa, and (c) Nepalgunj Road-Nepalgunj.
Referring to the decision to develop the inland waterways within the framework of trade and transit arrangements, Oli said the additional connectivity would have enormous impact on the growth of business and economy in Nepal.
The two leaders directed their respective officials to formulate modalities for including inland waterways as an additional means of transport in the Protocol to the Treaty of Transit between India and Nepal.
Modi accepted Oli’s invitation to pay an early visit to Nepal and the dates would be finalised through diplomatic channels.