India, Nepal agree to expedite all connectivity projects

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This visit of prime minister Oli ji is happening at the backdrop of the recently concluded historic democratic process in Nepal.

After a bilateral meeting the two leaders, Modi announced that the two countries had agreed on a railway link as well as inland water connectivity - Nepal will not only be "land-linked", Modi said, but also "water-linked". "Let bygones be bygones was the common refrain at the meetings between the two sides at different levels, " an official quipped, in an obvious reference to the bitterness that marked Oli's first term in office in 2015-16 when India imposed an economic blockade on Nepal, which forced the Nepalese leadership to strengthen links with China. He expressed the desire of the Nepalese government to develop bilateral relations in a way so as to benefit from India's progress and prosperity for economic transformation and development.

Talking about discussions on defence and security issues, Modi said India and Nepal have close and deep connection on the matters of defence and security.

India and Nepal on Saturday resolved to take their bilateral relations to newer heights on the basis of equality, mutual trust, respect and benefit.

In his discussions with both Modi and President Ramnath Kovind, the visiting Premier said "Nepal had entered into a new era of stability" that should be encouraging for investments.

The Prime Ministers of India and Nepal have affirmed their resolve to promote cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

Prime Minister Oli thanked Prime Minister Modi for the invitation and warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation. On being asked about why he had chosen India over China for his maiden foreign visit after assuming the post in February, Oli added, "India invited me and so I visited India". And Nepal has been a close friend and partner of India. We have developed our friendship according to time with a goal to eradicate poverty, improve living standards. We aim at improving waterways and railways with Nepal.

The bitterness grew as India was seen as supportive of the deprived Tharus, Madhsesis and Janjatis who blocked key supply routes between the two countries, preventing trucks carrying fuel and medicines among other essentials from reaching Nepal. Our friendship is historical, renewed, developed and is very fruitful. That model envisages India buying back a large chunk of the power it helped produce in Bhutan's rocky geography.

"We need to boost our relationship".

Oli, his wife Radika Shakya and a 54-member high-level delegation arrived on Friday on a three-day state visit. But within months, Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba had taken over from Prachanda as Prime Minister, and by November he had cancelled the dam project, saying the agreement to build it had been done in an "irregular and thoughtless manner".