New Delhi, Jan. 15, 2021 India and Nepal on Friday agreed to strengthen their bilateral ties through cooperation ranging from political, security and border issues, India’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement on Friday.
This followed a meeting of the joint commission of the two countries in New Delhi, which was co-chaired by Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Nepal’s Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal.
The Joint Commission comprehensively reviewed all aspects of multifaceted cooperation between the two countries and “explored ways to further strengthen their traditionally close and friendly ties,” the statement said.
“Both sides discussed several areas of cooperation including the areas of connectivity, economy, trade, power, oil and gas, water resources, political, security issues, border management, development partnership, tourism, culture, education and capacity building,
“Significant and concrete progress made since the last meeting of the Joint Commission in taking forward several bilateral initiatives was acknowledged,” it added.
”The two leaders noted the close cooperation between the two countries in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
“Nepal congratulated India on the remarkable success in the production of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines in India and requested for early provision of vaccines,” the ministry said.
The two sides also agreed on expanding the Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum products pipeline to Chitwan and the establishment of a new pipeline on the eastern side connecting Siliguri to Jhapa in Nepal.
“Both sides welcomed the completion of the work on the first passenger railway line between India and Nepal from Jaynagar to Kurtha via Janakpur.
”They noted that operating procedures for commencement of train services were being finalised, while other cross-border rail connectivity projects were also discussed,” the release said.
The Joint Commission also emphasised the need to facilitate the cross-border movement of people and goods.
They also noted that the recently inaugurated Integrated Check Posts at Birgunj and Biratnagar had helped in seamless movement of people and trade between the two countries.
The two countries also agreed to expedite action on joint hydropower projects, including the proposed Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, which has numerous benefits for the people of both countries.
India also agreed to undertake two more cultural heritage projects in Nepal’s Pashupatinath Riverfront Development and the Bhandarkhal Garden Restoration in Patan Durbar with grant assistance.
Nepal on her part expressed support for India’s permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council to reflect the changed balance of power.
Both sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the Joint Commission in Nepal in due course on a mutually convenient date, the ministry added.