Modi gets grand welcome in Nepal

KATHMANDU: Nepal rolled out the red carpet to welcome India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first Indian head of government to visit Nepal in the last 17 years.

As a special gesture of friendship, Nepal’s Prime Minister Shushil Koirala personally welcomed Modi at Tribhuvan International Airport August 3. The excitement about the visit was palpable as people lined the streets to get a glimpse of the Indian leader, who began his two-day visit August 3. Modi’s spectacular election victory in May, his invitation to SAARC leader during  his swearing-in ceremony and his visit to  Nepal have struck a chord in the Himalayan state, which shared deep-seated religious and cultural ties with India.

Before departing to Nepal, Modi had tweeted, “I hope to have fruitful discussions with leaders & lawmakers of Nepal that will take India-Nepal relations to even greater heights.”

After his arrival he called on Nepal’s Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, before his meeting with Koirala.  At the meeting between the two prime ministers, they reached an understanding to form the Pancheswor Development Authority to develop the Panchesor Multiple Project. India also offered to give Rs 69 million in aid to Nepal for iodine salt for distribution in 22 backward districts of Nepal. Officials from Nepal and India signed an aid agreement in the presence of Modi and Koirala.