Modi returns home, says "Thank You, Kathmandu"
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight returned here after a three-day visit to Nepal where he attended the SAARC summit and held bilateral talks with leaders of a host of neighboring countries.
“Thank you, Kathmandu,” the Prime Minister said at the end of his visit.
Yesterday, Modi had delivered his maiden address at the SAARC Summit and announced a number of measures, including issuance of 3-5 years business visa and immediate medical visa for patients coming to India for treatment.
Modi held bilateral meetings with top leaders of all SAARC countries except Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
However, the frosty Indo-Pak ties briefly gave way to some warmth today when a smiling Modi and Sharif today shook hands and exchanged pleasantries at the concluding session of the Summit but India cautioned against reading too much into such “courtesies”.
The Prime Minister had on Tuesday held talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala on key strategic issues after which 10 agreements, including a pact on USD 1 billion assistance to Nepal, were inked.
Following the talks between the two leaders, the two sides finalised terms of the $1 billion Indian assistance for Nepal's infrastructure development, which was announced by Modi during his August visit.
Elsewhere, talking about India's ties with Nepal, Modi said “when we trust each other, we can move forward very quickly. Projects that have been in limbo for 25 years are moving forward. I feel very satisfied”.
Modi and Koirala inaugurated the Indo-Nepal bus Pasupathinath Express.
India and Nepal also signed the Motor Vehicle Agreement under which permit would be given to vehicles to ply on designated routes in each other's country.
They also inked three twin-city pacts between Kathmandu-Varanasi, Janakpur-Ayodhya and Lumbini-Bodh Gaya.
The 10 agreements signed between the two countries are those on India's assistance to construct a police academy, tourism, traditional medicines and youth exchange.
An MoU was also signed on a project development agreement over the 900 megawatt hydroelectric project on the Arun river in Nepal.
India and Nepal also lifted a decade-long ban on carrying of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 Indian bank notes by their nationals while visiting each other's countries.