India-Nepal Relations: ‘Our relationship with Nepal is unique, based on people-to-people contact’, PM Narendra Modi
India’s ties with Nepal are ‘unique’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, a day ahead of his visit to neighboring Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. In a statement, Modi said he was looking forward to meeting Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba again after his “productive” discussions during his visit to India last month. He said the two sides will continue to build common understanding to enhance cooperation in many areas, including hydropower, development and connectivity. In his departure statement, Modi said, “Our relationship with Nepal is unique. The civilizational and people-to-people contacts between India and Nepal are an enduring building of our close ties.”
“The purpose of my visit is to celebrate and deepen these time-honored relationships that have been fostered over the centuries and are recorded in our long history,” he said.
The Prime Minister is on a one-day visit to Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. This will be the Prime Minister’s fifth visit to Nepal since 2014.
Modi said, “I look forward to offering prayers at the Mayadevi temple on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti. I am honored to have followed in the footsteps of millions of Indians to pay their respects at the holy site of the birth of Lord Buddha.”
Modi and Deuba will hold talks in Lumbini, with a focus on further enhancing cooperation in several areas, including hydropower and connectivity.
“I look forward to meeting Prime Minister Deuba again after our productive discussions during his visit to India last month,” Modi said.
“We will continue to build on our shared understanding to expand cooperation in many areas, including hydropower, development and connectivity,” he said.
The Prime Minister will also attend the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the construction of a Buddhist Culture and Heritage Center in Lumbini.
“Apart from visiting the holy Mayadevi temple, I will also participate in the ‘shilanyas’ ceremony of the India International Center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in the Lumbini Math area,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that he would also participate in the celebrations on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti organized by the Government of Nepal.
Located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal, Lumbini is considered one of the holiest places in Buddhism, as it is where Lord Buddha was born.
Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Friday said Modi’s talks with Deuba will have a broad agenda to further expand cooperation.
“I think the talks between the two leaders will have a broad agenda, covering the entire scope of our discussions,” he said at a media briefing.