Sat, 16 Jan 2021

Kathmandu [Nepal], November 26 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday stated that he had a very productive and useful exchange with his Nepali counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal.

While speaking to ANI, Shringla said: "We had a very productive and useful exchange. The way a large number of issues of bilateral cooperation that we went through, it shows the multifaceted and comprehensive nature of our cooperation."The Foreign Secretary further added that both sides had agreed on various steps to enhance the areas of cooperation, adding that a very good progress was made by the leadership of both countries.

He also thanked his Nepali counterpart for the invitation and his hospitality.

Shringla arrived in Nepal on Thursday for his maiden visit and was received by Paudyal.

Upon his arrival, Shringla said India and Nepal have "very strong" ties and their endeavour would be to take the relationship between the two nations forward.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Shringla's visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and the priority India attaches to its relations with Nepal.

"India has historical and civilisation linkages with Nepal. In recent years, bilateral cooperation has strengthened, with several major infrastructures and cross-border connectivity projects completed with India's assistance. The visit will be an opportunity to further advance our bilateral ties," the ministry said.

Sources informed that the Foreign Secretary will meet other dignitaries, and will do a public address , followed by a visit to the site of a development project.

Essentially, this is an initial courtesy and a "getting-to-know-you" visit, which got delayed due to COVID-19, sources said.

Shringla's visit will help underline the warmth of the relationship, the sources said, adding that it will also help enhance the level of our engagement, and allow a comprehensive review of our ties after a gap of some time. "We are keen to take forward this momentum, and make progress on the diverse sectors that encompass our bilateral relations," they asserted.

Shringla's visit came at a time the ties between the two countries are under strain after Nepal released a new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories.

India reacted sharply, calling it a "unilateral act" and cautioning Kathmandu that such "artificial enlargement" of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.

Earlier this month, Indian Army chief Gen M M Naravane travelled to Nepal on a three-day visit, during which he held talks with Nepal's top leadership and discussed bilateral relations.

Gen Naravane's three-day visit to Nepal was largely aimed at resetting bilateral ties that came under severe strain following a bitter border row between the two countries. (ANI)

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