Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he had signed eight agreements with Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. “The Nepal government will never allow anti-Indian activities on its soil,” Deuba said at a joint media briefing after both leaders inaugurated the Kataiya-Kusaha and Raxaul-Parwanipur cross-border power transmission lines.
The statement comes at a time when New Delhi and Beijing are involved in a standoff over China constructing a road in the Doklam plateau in the Sikkim sector. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, however, refuted queries about Modi and Deuba discussing India’s Doklam impasse with China.
The agreements signed included four memoranda of understanding on the post-earthquake reconstruction of Nepal and a document on the construction of the Mechi bridge under the provisions of the Asian Development Bank’s South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation.
Modi stressed on defence cooperation. “Defence ties and assistance in security is an important aspect of our partnership,” the Indian prime minister said. “Our defence interests are also dependent and connected to each other.”
Deuba assured India of its cooperation.
The two leaders also discussed Kathmandu’s Constitution amendment Bill, which aims to address the grievances of the Madhesi community. Modi said India has confidence in the Nepali government’s consideration of all its people. The Nepal Parliament had failed to give its support to the Bill.