PM Modi holds bilateral talks with his Nepalese counterpart Deuba in Lumbini; 6 pacts signed
Lumbini, May 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held bilateral talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba in Lumbini - the birthplace of Gautam Buddha - during which they discussed ways to strengthen ongoing cooperation and develop new areas in the multifaceted bilateral partnership.
After their talks, the two sides signed six Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on cooperation in cultural and educational sectors.
Modi, who is in the Himalayan nation at the invitation of Deuba on a day-long visit to Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, met Deuba after offering prayers at the sacred Maya Devi temple here.
"PM @narendramodi holds bilateral talks with PM @SherBDeuba in Lumbini. Opportunity to strengthen ongoing cooperation and develop new areas in our multifaceted partnership," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) inked separate MoUs with Lumbini Buddhist University on the establishment of Dr. Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies; with Tribhuvan University on the establishment of ICCR Chair of Indian Studies and with the Kathmandu University (KU) on the establishment of the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies.
An MoU between Kathmandu University (KU) and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) was also signed. A Letter of Agreement (LoA) between KU and IIT-M was signed for joint degree programme at Master's level.
An agreement between SJVN Ltd and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for Development and implementation of Arun 4 Project was also inked.
Deuba also hosted a lunch in honour of Modi and his delegation.
Ahead of his visit, Modi had said that his visit to Nepal is intended to further deepen the "time-honoured" linkages between the two countries, adding both sides will continue to build on the shared understanding to expand ties in multiple areas, including hydropower and connectivity.
"Our ties with Nepal are unparalleled. The civilisational and people-to-people contacts between India and Nepal form the enduring edifice of our close relationship," Modi had said in his departure statement.
Modi had said that he was looking forward to meeting Deuba after their "productive" discussions during the latter's visit to India last month.
Their discussion is likely to focus on further expanding cooperation in multiple areas, including hydropower and connectivity.
It is the prime minister's fifth visit to Nepal since 2014. Modi and his entourage arrived here on a special Indian Air Force helicopter from Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.
Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra had said on Friday that Modi's talks with Deuba will have a comprehensive agenda to further expand cooperation.
Land-locked Nepal relies heavily on India for the transportation of goods and services.
Nepal's access to the sea is through India, and it imports a predominant proportion of its requirements from and through India.
The India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 forms the bedrock of the special relations between the two countries.