PM Modi, Nepal prime minister talk for the first time since map controversy

New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 15, 2020, 02.46 PM(IST) Reported By: Sidhant Sibal

KP Sharma Oli and PM Modi Photograph:( PTI )

Story highlights

The development comes two days before India and Nepal sit for talk on the New Delhi's development projects in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli had a conversation on Saturday -- in a first since Kathmandu brought about a new map of the country that showed Indian territories as their own.

During the talks, Oli greeted PM Modi on India's Independence day and congratulated him for India’s recent election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council" Indian readout said.

The Indian readout by the Ministry of External Affairs said, "Leaders expressed mutual solidarity" on the COVID-19 pandemic with Indian Prime Minister offering "continued support to Nepal in this regard.

Civilisational and cultural links that India and Nepal share were also highlighted by PM Modi. No talks on boder developments came during the conversation.

Earlier in this year, both leaders had spoken on the coronavirus pandemic.

The development comes two days before India and Nepal sit for talk on the New Delhi's development projects in the country. The "scheduled oversight mechanism" will see India being represented by its envoy in Kathmandu Vinay Mohan Kwatra and Nepal being represented by Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi.

Indian government sources said the meet is "part of regular interaction between India and Nepal" and the mechanism was set up in 2016 to "review ongoing bilateral economic and development projects, and meets on a periodic basis".

India has been assisting Nepal in development of border infrastructure through up-gradation of 10 roads in the Terai area, developing cross-border rail links at Jogbani-Biratnagar, Jaynagar-Bardibas and establishment of Integrated Check Posts at Birgunj, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, and Nepalgunj.

The total economic assistance earmarked under ‘Aid to Nepal’ budget in FY 2019-20 was Rs 1,200 crore.