India, Nepal Discuss SAARC Meet; India to Help Logistically
NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today held talks with her Nepalese counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey on the forthcoming SAARC Summit to be held in Kathmandu and assured him of positive Indian response to the neigbouring country's request for logistical support.
Nepal has requested vehicles including bullet-proof cars for the SAARC Summit and India would be supplying these.
However, the exact number of vehicles which will be supplied was not given by the officials.
Pandey, who is here to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the SAARC Summit on November 26-27, met Swaraj, who also noted that while the Power Development Agreement for the Upper Karnali project has been signed, the Power Trade Agreement was to be inked in Kathmandu tomorrow.
She also hoped that the negotiations in case of the other hydro-electric projects would also to be expedited, official sources said here.
She briefed the visiting Minister on the efforts underway in India to work out new modalities for certain priority projects, they said.
As a run-up to the SAARC Summit, India has hosted meetings of SAARC Cultural and Energy Ministers and will also be hosting meeting of the Education Ministers of the SAARC later this month.
The visiting minister said that Nepal greatly appreciates India's 'Neighbours First' policy and that the SAARC Summit would be meeting in the light of this changed situation in South Asia, the sources said.
Assuring Pandey of positive Indian response to the request made by Nepal for logistical support, Swaraj reaffirmed that the SAARC process touches real life of the people of South Asia and India was committed to increasing trade and commerce as well as connectivity and people-to-people interaction.
The two Foreign Ministers also discussed the follow up to the Joint Commission Meeting which was held in Kathmandu in July after a gap of 23 years and reviewed follow up measures that were required to be taken to implement the announcements made during the Prime Minister's visit to Kathmandu in August.
Both sides welcomed the swift follow up being taken to implement outcomes agreed to between the two countries, the sources said, adding Swaraj noted the progress made on various India-Nepal projects since the Joint Commission Meeting.
"She also briefed the visiting minister on the efforts underway in India to work out new modalities for certain priority projects," they added.
Swaraj also said that India was awaiting Nepal's concurrence of the draft agreement for USD 1 billion Line of Credit announced during Prime Minister's visit so that high priority projects of the Nepal government could be considered for implementation at an early date.