Modi holds talks with Nepal PM, ten pacts inked

Modi holds talks with Nepal PM, ten pacts inked

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala on key strategic issues after which ten agreements, including a pact on USD 1 billion assistance to Nepal, were inked.

A host of strategic issues, including defence and security, were discussed between Modi and Koirala during their talks that lasted for nearly 40 minutes.

Talking about bilateral ties, Modi said, "When we trust each other, we can move forward very quickly."

"Projects that have been in limbo for 25 years are moving forward. I feel very satisfied," he said after inaugurating the trauma centre built by India at Kathmandu's Bir Hospital.
Following the talks between the two leaders, the two sides finalised terms of the USD 1 billion Indian assistance for Nepal's infrastructure development, which was announced by Modi during his August visit.

The agreement for the USD 1 billion Line of Credit to Nepal was signed between Nepal's Finance Ministry Joint Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini and David Rasquinha, the Deputy Managing Director of Exim Bank.

Modi, who arrived here earlier today for a three-day visit, will attend the two-day 18th SAARC Summit beginning tomorrow apart from holding bilateral meetings with other SAARC heads of state and government.

India and Nepal today signed the Motor Vehicle Agreement under which permit would be given to vehicles to ply on designated routes in each other's country.

They also inked three twin-city pacts between Kathmandu-Varanasi, Janakpur-Ayodhya and Lumbini-Bodh Gaya.

The 10 agreements signed between the two countries include, MoU on training at Nepal Police Academy, MoU on Tourism, MoU Traditional Medicines and MoU on Youth Exchange.
A MoU was also signed on a project development agreement over the 900 megawatt hydro-electric project on the Arun river in Nepal.

Modi has expressed concern about delay made in drafting the constitution and citing Indian experience of drafting the constitution he pointed out that further delay in the process could create problems, according to senior leader of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal.

"It would be better if the entire country could be united in drafting the constitution, Modi said," according to Khanal.

Gautam said that the government is committed to drafting the constitution within the next two months, as per the deadline set by the political parties.

Modi has stressed on the need to draft the constitution through consensus, Unified CPN-Maoist spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara said after the meeting.

"The constitution should only be drafted through consensus and not otherwise," he quoted Modi as saying.

The Maoist leader said that his party is encouraged by the concern shown by Modi about forging consensus to draft the constitution.

Modi also showed concern about Nepal's development and assured all possible help for the development of the country, said Mahara.

The prime minister also met with Madhesi leaders including Bijaya Gachhadar, president of Madhesi Peoples Forum Democratic, Mahanta Thakur, President of Terai Madhes Democratic Party and Rajendra Mahato, president of Sadbhawana Party and discussed about the current political situation and constitution.

Modi during his meeting told the Nepalese leaders that he wanted to hear a telephone call from Nepal that the constitution is ready and India would be happy to congratulate Nepal on that, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Sayeed Akberuddin said quoting Modi during a media briefing today.

The trauma centre inaugurated by Modi today was to start operations in 2009.
The 200-bedded centre is a Rs 1.5 billion project of the Indian government. The centre will have 150 beds in the trauma ward, six operation theatres, 14 ICUs, eight resuscitation rooms and beds for emergency observation, 10 examination cubicles in the outpatient department and a triage area.

The foundation of the centre was laid by former Prime Minister I K Gujral in 1997.
Noting that a lot of decisions have made progress since his last visit in August this year, Modi said that Nepal's happiness and satisfaction on implementation of these projects gives India a reason to smile.

He also said that India and Nepal have decided to allow Rs 500 and 1000 denomination notes of upto the limit of 25,000 which can be brought in from India.

At present only Rs 100 denomination notes are allowed for Indian visitors in Nepal.

Later, Prime Minister Modi called on Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav at the Rastrapati Bhawan and discussed issues of bilateral relations and regional cooperation.
Modi appreciated Nepal for signing Power Trade Agreement and Project Development Agreement with India to promote cooperation between the two countries in hydropower sector.

They also discussed about the follow up of Prime Minister Modi's visit to Nepal in August and issues relating to mutual cooperation.

Earlier, during the meeting with Koirala at his Office at Singh Durbar, Modi appreciated Nepal for creating a conducive environment for the regional grouping's conclave, the Nepal Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Advisor Dinesh Bhattarai said.

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