India, Nepal ink several agreements as Jaishankar holds ‘productive’ talks with his counterpart Saud | India News

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KATHMANDU: India and Nepal on Thursday signed a slew of agreements as external affairs minister S Jaishankar held a “comprehensive and productive” meeting with his Nepalese counterpart NP Saud and discussed overall bilateral ties, trade, connectivity projects and cooperation in key areas like defence and security, power and water resources.
Jaishankar, who arrived in Nepal earlier in the day on his first visit to a foreign country in 2024, co-chaired with Saud the 7th India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting.
“Discussions focused on our overall bilateral ties, trade & economic relations, land, rail & air connectivity projects, cooperation in defence & security, agriculture, energy, power, water resources, disaster management, tourism, civil aviation, people-to-people & cultural exchanges and development partnership,” Jaishankar said in a post on X.
The two sides signed an agreement on power export that will facilitate the export of 10,000 MW of electricity from Nepal to India in the next 10 years.
The two countries had reached an understanding on the electricity export during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda‘s visit to India from May 31 to June 3 last year.
Besides the signing of the long-term power agreement, three other agreements were also inked between the two sides. An agreement for the Implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects was also signed.
The two sides also agreed on Cooperation in Renewable Energy Development. An MoU for cooperation in Renewable Energy Development between Nepal Electricity Authority and NTPC Ltd. of India was also signed.
Nepal and India also signed the Launch Service Agreement for the Munal Satellite developed by the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
During Jaishankar’s visit, India announced to provide NRs. 10 billion (USD 75.11 million) grant assistance to Nepal for the reconstruction of earthquake affected areas.
Jaishankar also witnessed the handing over of the fifth tranche of post-Jajarkot earthquake relief supplies to Nepal. Nepal witnessed a powerful earthquake in the Jajarkot area of Western Nepal on November 3 in which 154 people were killed and hundreds of houses were damaged.
The two leaders also jointly inaugurated three cross-border transmission lines. These include 132 KVA Raxaul-Parwanipur, Kushaha Kataiya and New Nautanwa-Mainahia cross-border transmission lines, according to officials.
Nepal’s Foreign Ministry said that various aspects of Nepal-India relations were discussed on the occasion under the thematic areas of economic relations, connectivity, trade and transit, power and water resources, education and culture and political matters among others.
Earlier, Jaishankar called on President Ramchandra Paudel and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ during which the two sides exchanged substantive views on the age-old, unique, and multifaceted Nepal-India relations.
Jaishankar called on Prime Minister Prachanda at the latter’s office ‘Singhadurbar’ and conveyed the warm wishes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Nepal is important for India in the context of its overall strategic interests in the region, and the leaders of the two countries have often noted the age-old “Roti Beti” relationship.
The country shares a border of over 1,850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Land-locked Nepal relies heavily on India for the transportation of goods and services.
In June, Prime Minister ‘Prachanda’ visited New Delhi during which both sides signed several major pacts including one on increasing New Delhi’s import of power from the neighbouring country to 10,000 MW in the next 10 years from the current 450 MW.

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