Kathmandu, Aug 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Nepal on Thursday to attend the BIMSTEC Summit which would be held from August 30 to August 31.
It is the fourth BIMSTEC Summit whose theme is 'Towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region'.
PM Modi was received by Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwor Pokhrel at the Kathmandu airport. All domestic and international flights were suspended for two hours ahead of his arrival.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a bilateral meeting with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of BIMSTEC Summit in Kathmandu. Good and positive exchange of views on strengthening development cooperation and other areas of bilateral relationship.
PM Modi will also interact with the leaders of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Thailand on the margins of the summit whose theme is 'Towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region'.
Photo credit: @MEAIndia
Regional issues on agenda on agenda
The BIMSTEC leaders are likely to discuss a tri-services military exercise among member nations and exchange views on a free trade agreement, said Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs Preeti Saran.
She said enhancing collaboration in the areas of regional connectivity, coastal shipping, space, energy, transport and tourism will be the focus of the summit.
Extended neighbourhood in Southeast Asia a priority for India: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today his participation in the BIMSTEC summit in Kathmandu signals India's highest priority to its neighbourhood and a strong commitment to continue deepening ties with the "extended neighbourhood" in South-East Asia.
"My participation in the summit symbolises India's highest priority to our neighbourhood and our strong commitment to continue deepening our relationship with the extended neighbourhood in South-East Asia," he said.
He said he will interact with all the leaders of BIMSTEC "to further enrich our regional cooperation, enhance our trade ties and advance our collective efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous Bay of Bengal region".
What is the BIMSTEC summit?
The BIMSTEC is a regional grouping comprising Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal. The grouping accounts for 22 percent of the global population.
Bimstec came into existence on June 6, 1997, through the Bangkok Declaration. The main objective of Bimstec is technical and economic cooperation among South Asian and Southeast Asian countries along the rim of the Bay of Bengal.
Bimstec is important for India in terms of New Delhi's Act East Policy and Neighbourhood First Policy, with northeastern India acting as a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Photo credit: @MEAIndia