India steps up support for Nepal

Oli was at odds with India when he previously served as prime minister, and tried to build ties with China.

Oli arrived in New Delhi on Friday in keeping with the tradition of India being the first foreign destination of any newly sworn in Nepalese prime minister.

The two leaders addressed the media where Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I believe my motto of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas and Mr Oli’s motto of Samriddh Nepal, Sukhi Nepal are complimentary”. In the area of agriculture, the two countries announced their decision to promote cooperation in agricultural science and technology, agricultural production and agro-processing.

The partnership will be led by the ministers for agriculture of the two countries.

Modi also said the two countries agreed to lay a new railway line to link Kathmandu with India.

“This new initiative would enable cost-effective and efficient movement of cargo”.

On developing the rail link between Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal, both sides agreed to carry out preparatory survey work within one year.

That year China also signed a transit trade treaty with Nepal that completely depends on Indian sea ports for third-country trade.

With the doklam face off and other border related issues still remaining unsolved with China, India needs to play strategically with its neighbor. Nepal’s main imports from India are petroleum products, motor vehicles and parts, rice, medicine and coal. China’s major security interests in Nepal include its border with the Tibet autonomous region, a potential hotbed of domestic instability over questions of sovereignty. Much like his predecessors, he is signalling that he values ties with India but unlike most, he is also coming after three years of hard times when the relationship seems to have hit a rough patch.

“Friendship is very important”.

According to Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, these projects will prove to be a “game changer” in Indo-Nepal ties. “We will continue to look for support across the world, particularly at our neighbours”, he said.

“Inter-dependence takes many forms between our countries”.

He, however, stressed that Nepal wants relations based on “equality, justice and respect”. “I invited PM Modi to pay a visit to Nepal at the earliest convenient time, I am hopeful that the visit will take place soon”, Nepal PM Oli said.

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. Amongst other projects, India is assisting Nepal in developing 3 other such ICPs.

Modi Oli hold talks India agrees to open waterways rail link to Kathmandu