New Delhi, Aug 3: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today embarked on a visit to Nepal to forge a new relationship with it and start a “new chapter” in bilateral ties that will serve as a model and catalyst for regional partnership. During his two-day visit, Modi will be holding talks with his counterpart Sushil Koirala and meet other political leaders.
He will also have the rare honour of addressing Nepal’s Constituent Assembly. Ahead of his visit, Modi had said that he looks forward to working with the Nepalese leadership to forge a “new relationship” by identifying steps to strengthen bilateral cooperation in key sectors, including trade and investment, hydropower, agriculture and agro-processing, environment, tourism, education, culture and sports. ”I am excited about my visit and pleased that I am able to go there within weeks of assuming office as Prime Minister,” he had said in a pre-departure statement yesterday.
“I hope my visit will open a new chapter in India-Nepal relations, characterised by more frequent political engagement and closer cooperation across the full spectrum of our extraordinarily broad-based relations, which will serve as a model and catalyst for South Asian partnership for prosperity,” Modi had said. Describing Nepal as a close friend and neighbour, he had said, “We have had the privilege of being a leading partner in Nepal’s socio-economic development. We are committed to continuing our support to Nepal in its development efforts.”
Modi’s Nepal visit will also unite a youth with his family. 26-year-old Jeet Bahadur, who came in contact with Modi in Ahmedabad over a decade back and was since looked after by him, is travelling with the Prime Minister to Kathmandu to be personally handed over to his mother and elder brother.
“On a personal note, my Nepal visit is very special… Some personal emotions are also attached to this visit.,” Modi had said.
In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister had said, “Years back, I met a child Jeet Bahadur in a helpless condition. He knew nothing, where to go, what to do. He did not know anybody, nor did he understand the language.”