India, Nepal agree to strengthen bilateral ties as Krishna ends visit

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Kathmandu, Jan.17 (ANI): India and Nepal on Sunday agreed that recent meetings of bilateral institutional mechanisms had reinvigorated the bilateral relationship in key areas.

A joint statement issued by the governments of the two countries after the conclusion of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's three-day visit to Nepal from January 15 to 17, said that all decisions taken in the framework of these mechanisms should be implemented in a timely manner.

They also decided that other institutional mechanisms should meet as soon as possible.

The statement said that Krishna had paid an official visit to Nepal at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal Sujata Koirala.

During his visit, Krishna called on Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

The joint statement said that he conveyed to them the greetings of the Indian leadership and reiterated that India attaches the highest priority to its relations with Nepal.

He also said that a warm welcome awaits the President of Nepal during his forthcoming visit to India.

The Prime Minister of Nepal expressed his deep appreciation for India's consistent support and assistance to Nepal and at the progress made on the decisions taken during his visit to India in August 2009. He reiterated his invitation to the Prime Minister of India to visit Nepal at an early date.

Krishna also called on Subas Chandra Nembang, Chairman of the Constituent Assembly and held an interactive discussion with parliamentarians representing the different political parties in the Constituent Assembly. He also met senior political leaders representing various political parties of Nepal.

During his visit, Krishna held official talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sujata Koirala on all aspects of bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.

13. Both Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to promote bilateral cooperation in the hydro-power sector so as to create a win-win situation for the mutual benefit of both countries.

The two ministers discussed security concerns of their respective countries and agreed that terrorism and extremism were a threat to both countries.

They agreed to cooperate closely to end this menace. The two Ministers also discussed ways to enhance bilateral security cooperation to control cross border crimes such as smuggling of fake Indian currency, human trafficking and arms smuggling.

Krishna conveyed the assurance that India was willing to provide all possible assistance to Nepalese security agencies as per the request of the Government of Nepal.

The two Ministers agreed to expedite the finalization of MoU for the construction of the Nepal Police Academy at Panauti with Government of India assistance.

Koirala reiterated Nepal's commitment that it would not allow its territory to be used for any activity against India.

Both sides agreed to take all necessary action to preserve law and order and maintain peace and tranquility along the India-Nepal border.

The two ministers directed their respective foreign secretaries to discuss and review the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship with a view to further strengthen bilateral relations.

The Indian side reiterated its commitment to assist Nepal for strengthening peace, stability and democratic institutions and for economic development of Nepal.

The two ministers expressed satisfaction at the growing commercial relations between the two countries and agreed on the need for early conclusion of the Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.

Krishna pointed out that concerns remain about the business environment in Nepal affecting Indian investment and joint ventures. He requested that these issues be addressed urgently and effectively.

Krishna visited the sacred Pashupatinath Temple and met with the Indian priests who represent an age-old religious and cultural tradition that links the Nepalese and Indian peoples.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal hosted a banquet in honour of Krishna.

Talks were held in an atmosphere of utmost cordiality and warmth. (ANI)

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