NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today his participation in the BIMSTEC summit in Kathmandu signals India's highest priority to its neighbourhood and a strong commitment to continue deepening ties with the "extended neighbourhood" in South-East Asia.
Modi will be in the Nepal capital on a two-day visit on August 30-31, to participate in the 4th BIMSTEC summit.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia.
Its members are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal.
In a statement before leaving for Nepal, Modi said he will interact with the leaders of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand on the margins of the summit.
"I also look forward to meeting Prime Minister of Nepal K P Sharma Oli and reviewing the progress we have made in our bilateral ties since my last visit to Nepal in May 2018," he said.
Modi said he and Oli will inaugurate the Nepal Bharat Maitri Dharmashala at the Pashupatinath temple complex.
"My participation in the summit symbolises India's highest priority to our neighbourhood and our strong commitment to continue deepening our relationship with the extended neighbourhood in South-East Asia," he said.
He said he will interact with all the leaders of BIMSTEC "to further enrich our regional cooperation, enhance our trade ties and advance our collective efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous Bay of Bengal region".
The Summit theme, the PM said, 'Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous and Sustainable Bay of Bengal Region' will enable the member-countries to shape a collective response to their common aspirations and challenges.
"I am confident that the 4th BISMTEC summit will further consolidate the progress made thus far under BIMSTEC, and will chart the course for building a peaceful and prosperous Bay of Bengal Region," Modi said in his statement.