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Nepal occupies very special place under India's 'Neighbourhood First' Policy: Foreign Secretary Kwatra

New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Thursday said Nepal occupies a very special place in India's Neighbourhood First Policy and that India's relationship with Nepal is unique and characterised by open borders and civilisational ties.
"Nepal occupies a very special place under India's Neighbourhood First Policy. Our relationship with Nepal is unique and characterised by open borders and civilisational ties that are anchored in our shared cultural and religious traditions manifesting strong people-to-people linkages including kinship," the Foreign Secretary said during a special briefing on the visit of the Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias 'Prachanda' to India. Prachanda who assumed office in December last year is on an official visit to India from May 31-June 3. This is his fourth visit to India.
The Foreign Secretary on talks between PM Modi and Nepal PM Dahal said: "The talks between the two PMs characterised the traditional warmth and cordiality between our two countries. The two leaders engaged in fairly comprehensive and constructive and future-oriented discussions directed toward taking the India-Nepal bilateral relationship forward in a manner that is constructive, progressive & beneficial for both our societies."
According to the Foreign Secretary, the discussions and outcomes covered the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation, including political, economic, trade, energy, connectivity, infrastructure cooperation and also development partnership.
Kwatra said that the Agniveer issue was not discussed during PM Modi, PM Prachanda's meet.
'Prachanda' on Thursday invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an official visit to the Himalayan nation. He said that he is looking forward to welcoming PM Modi to Nepal "soon."
"I have extended a cordial invitation to PM Modi Ji for a visit to visit Nepal. I look forward to welcoming him in Nepal soon," Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal said during the joint press meet at Hyderabad House in Delhi.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with PM Modi, Dahal said that the ties between India and Nepal are "age-old and multifaceted." He said that Nepal is happy to see the growth of India's economy and political landscape under PM Modi's leadership.
"This is my fourth visit to India as the Prime Minister of Nepal. I fondly recall my previous visit in September 2018 and then twice in September and October in 2016. I bring with me the greetings and good wishes of the government and the people of Nepal. We are happy to see the remarkable transformation of India's economy and political landscape under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Dahal said.
He also congratulated PM Modi on completing nine years in office and said that the ties between the two countries stand on the solid foundation built by the rich tradition of civilizational, cultural and socio-economic linkages.
"I congratulate Prime Minister Modiji on the completion this week of nine years in government with far-reaching achievements on many fronts. The relationship between India and Nepal is age-old and multifaceted. These relations stand on the solid foundation built on the one hand by the rich tradition of civilizational cultural socio-economic linkage and on the other, by the two countries' firm commitment to the time-tested principle of sovereign equality, mutual respect, understanding and cooperation," Dahal added. (ANI)

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