Indian, Nepalese security interests inter-linked: Modi

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India and Nepal have a “time tested” and unique friendship and their security interests are inter-linked.

“Our friendship is time-tested and unique. We share our burden during difficult times, just as we celebrate each other’s achievements. As immediate neighbours and close friendly nations, peace, stability and economic prosperity of Nepal is our shared objective,” Prime Minister Modi said, in his media statement after holding talks with visiting Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” here.

Modi also commended Prachanda’s role in “strengthening democratic institutions in Nepal”.

“Our security interests are inter-linked. We agreed that securing our societies is essential for achieving shared objectives of development and growth. India stands ready and prepared to strengthen development partnership with Nepal. We will do so as per the priorities of the people and government of Nepal,” he said.

Modi also said that continued cooperation between the defence and security agencies is important to guard the open borders between the two countries that provide opportunities for interaction to their people.

Prachanda meanwhile said Nepal is eager to learn from India’s “success story”, and his government is focused on the agenda of development.

The two leaders earlier held bilateral talks and signed a series of agreements at Hyderabad House.

Prachanda arrived here on Thursday on a four-day visit to India.

The new Maoist-led government in Nepal assumed power last month after the ouster of K.P. Sharma Oli as Prime Minister.

Earlier on Friday, Prachanda was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal are also slated to meet the Nepal Prime Minister later in the day.

Prachanda is to also meet President Pranab Mukherjee.

In the evening, he will attend a joint business event organised by Assocham.

In an interview with state broadcaster Doordarshan, Prachanda said that Nepal-India ties are unique and that his visit was aimed at building “trust and confidence” between the two sides.

Ties between both neighbours had soured during the 10-month rule of K.P. Sharma Oli, with Kathmandu showing a marked pro-Beijing tilt.

India is hoping to bring ties back on track with the visit of Prachanda, who has chosen New Delhi for his first foreign outing after taking over.

China’s President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Kathmandu in October, while Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is visiting in early November.

–IANS

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