Kathmandu, May 12 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday heaped praise on Nepal at a civic reception here where he was presented a 55 kg statue of Lord Buddha.
Addressing the function, Modi said India was ready to become a “sherpa” for the development endeavours of Nepal and a detailed project study for rail links between the Indian border and Kathmandu had started.
“Our goal is too far and both India and Nepal are in base camp of the Mt. Everest… We have to reach the peak of the Everest and we need support of a sherpa to conquer the Everest.
“As the sherpa extends support to climbers to reach the top of the Everest, India will do the same to Nepal,” Modi said. “As per the need and priority of Nepal, India is all set to support it.”
The Indian leader was given a Lord Buddha statue by Kathmandu Mayor Bidhya Sundar Sakya. It weighed 55 kg.
Modi called Nepal “a top priority for India’s ‘Neighbourhood First policy'” while praising the Himalayan neighbour for its commitment towards democracy and conducting federal, provincial and local body elections.
Praising Nepal’s capital, he said: “Kathmandu has an important place in the history of the world. It is a mixture of the ancient and the modern… as well as showcases the culture of Nepal.”
He said both countries were also linked by cricket and mentioned Nepali player Sandeep Lamichanne, who plays for IPL team Delhi Daredevils.