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External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar's Visit to Nepal

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar's Visit to Nepal

Dr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, commenced his official visit to Nepal from January 4 to 5, 2024, at the invitation of Nepal's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. N.P. Saud. The day was marked by significant diplomatic engagements, consolidating bilateral ties between the two nations.

The Ministers co-chaired the 7th India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting, reviewing bilateral cooperation and developmental partnerships. Acknowledging achievements since the 6th meeting in January 2021, the Joint Commission underscored the positive trajectory of bilateral collaboration.

Following the Joint Commission meeting, Dr. Jaishankar and the Foreign Minister of Nepal witnessed the exchange of key agreements/MoUs:

1. Agreement between India and Nepal for implementing High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs), raising the budgetary ceiling from NPR 5 crore to NPR 20 crore.

2. Agreement between the Governments of India and Nepal for Long Term Power Trade, aiming to increase power export from Nepal to India to 10,000 MW within ten years.

3. Launch Service Agreement for Munal Satellite, developed by Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, to be launched on an Indian rocket by NewSpace India Limited.

4. MoU for Cooperation in Renewable Energy Development between NTPC Limited and Nepal Electricity Authority, establishing a framework for cooperation in renewables.

In addition, the two Ministers jointly inaugurated three 132 kV cross-border transmission lines connecting India and Nepal.

The day also witnessed the handover of the fifth tranche of post-Jajarkot earthquake relief supplies from the Government of India to Nepal, including 200 prefabricated houses, 1200 blankets, 150 tents, and 2000 sleeping bags. Out of the 200 prefabricated houses, 20 were handed over today, with the rest scheduled for delivery in subsequent tranches over the next few weeks.

To aid reconstruction after the recent earthquake in Jajarkot, Dr. Jaishankar announced a financial assistance package of approximately NPR 1000 crores, with a significant portion provided as grant assistance.

Dr. Jaishankar paid courtesy calls on President of Nepal, Mr. Ram Chandra Paudel, and Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda,' discussing bilateral matters of mutual interest. Meetings with other senior political leaders of Nepal took place, and a dinner hosted by the Foreign Minister of Nepal honored Dr. Jaishankar.

Today, Dr. Jaishankar is scheduled to inaugurate 59 post-earthquake reconstruction projects in education, health, and culture sectors, including the new building of the Tribhuvan University Central Library, constructed with the grant assistance of the Government of India.

The visit underscores Nepal's status as a priority partner under India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy, maintaining the tradition of high-level exchanges between the two close and friendly neighbors.

Dr. S. Jaishankar India In Nepal