I am visiting Nepal from 3 to 4 August 2014 at the invitation of the Government of Nepal. I am excited about my visit and pleased that I am able to go there within weeks of assuming office as Prime Minister.
My visit reflects our shared heritage of nature, history, culture, spiritualism and religion. It highlights the high priority that my Government attaches to our relations with Nepal and our determination to take our relationship to an entirely new level. My visit will be the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Nepal in 17 years.
I was delighted that Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had graced my swearing in ceremony with his presence, which demonstrated the solidarity of the people of Nepal with India and our shared commitment to democracy. The India-Nepal Joint Commission Meeting chaired by our respective Foreign Ministers also met recently after a long gap of 23 years and reviewed the entire gamut of our bilateral relations and cooperation with a focus on economic relations, trade and connectivity.
During my visit, I will have the opportunity to hold detailed discussions with the Nepalese leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations. I look forward to working with the leadership of Nepal to forge a new relationship for the new century between our two rapidly transforming countries.
We will identify steps to strengthen our bilateral cooperation in key sectors, including trade and investment, hydro power, agriculture and agro-processing, environment, tourism, education, culture and sports. I will also discuss with Nepali leadership and their business leaders how we can harness the full potential of the new digital age to empower and create new opportunities for the youth of the two countries.
Nepal has made admirable progress in its peace process and political transition towards a multiparty democracy. The successful conduct of the Constituent Assembly-cum-Parliamentary elections in November 2013 is yet another tribute to the sagacity of the Nepalese leadership and the people of Nepal. I am truly grateful to the people and the elected representatives of Nepal for giving me the rare honor of addressing the Parliament of Nepal.
As a close friend and neighbor, 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. Our ongoing major projects for development of border infrastructure will usher in economic prosperity to people living on both sides of the border and also enhance connectivity. During the visit, we will explore the ways to further strengthen our development cooperation.
I will also discuss with the Nepalese leadership the steps to further strengthen people-to-people contacts between our countries, and how to connect lives across our open borders more seamlessly, particularly among the youth.
I hope my visit will open a new chapter in India -Nepal relations, characterized 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.
Excerpt of the statement issued by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi prior to his departure for Nepal.