Fri, 22 Jan 2021

Kathmandu [Nepal], November 26 (ANI): Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Thursday received Covid-19 related medical assistance from Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla during the latter's two-day visit in Kathmandu.

The Foreign Minister of Nepal also thanked Shringla for the continuation of generous support, informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Nepal.

"Hon. Foreign Minister @PradeepgyawaliK received Covid-19 related medical assistance from Foreign Secretary of India @harshvshringla at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. The Hon. Minister thanked India for the continuation of generous support. @PaudyalBR" tweeted MOFA of Nepal.

Earlier, the Indian Embassy in Nepal informed that Shringla and his Nepali counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal had a productive meeting during which they took stock of bilateral cooperation and discussed issues of mutual interest.

"FS @harshvshringla had a productive meeting with @PaudyalBR during which they took stock of bilateral cooperation and discussed issues of mutual interest," tweeted India in Nepal.

"Both sides appreciated the progress made on the numerous bilateral initiatives and projects. It was agreed to take further steps to advance mutual cooperation," said the Embassy in another tweet.

Shringla arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday for his maiden visit to Nepal as Foreign Secretary and was received by Paudyal.

Upon his arrival, Shringla said India and Nepal have "very strong" ties and their endeavour would be to take the relationship between the two nations forward.

"I wanted to come here earlier also but because of COVID-19 could not do so. I am very happy to be here. We have a very strong relationship. Our endeavour will be to see how we can take the relationship forward," he said after arriving in the capital of Kathmandu.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Shringla's visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and the priority India attaches to its relations with Nepal.

"India has historical and civilisation linkages with Nepal. In recent years, bilateral cooperation has strengthened, with several major infrastructures and cross-border connectivity projects completed with India's assistance. The visit will be an opportunity to further advance our bilateral ties," the ministry said.

Essentially, this is an initial courtesy and a "getting-to-know-you" visit, which got delayed due to COVID-19, sources said.

Shringla's visit will help underline the warmth of the relationship, the sources said, adding that it will also help enhance the level of our engagement, and allow a comprehensive review of our ties after a gap of some time. "We are keen to take forward this momentum, and make progress on the diverse sectors that encompass our bilateral relations," they asserted.

The visit came some months after ties between the two countries went under strain following Nepal releasing a new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories.

India reacted sharply, calling it a "unilateral act" and cautioning Kathmandu that such "artificial enlargement" of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.

"India's position is well stated on this issue. India is not accepting Nepal map and termed it Cartographic assertion and it is unlikely that this issue will be raised during the visit. Separate parleys on boundary issues may take place later," the source said.

Earlier this month, Indian Army chief Gen M M Naravane travelled to Nepal on a three-day visit during which he held talks with Nepal's top leadership and discussed bilateral relations.

Gen Naravane's three-day visit to Nepal was largely aimed at resetting bilateral ties that came under severe strain following a bitter border row between the two countries. (ANI)

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