Oli, Modi hold telephonic conversationThe two leaders had direct talks after months amid tensions between the two countries over boundary issues.
Four months after their last telephonic conversation, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi held a telephonic conversation on Saturday.
Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi told the Post that Oli and Modi held talks on Saturday.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Oli rang up Modi and congratulated, on behalf of the government and people of Nepal and on his own behalf, India on its 74th Independence Day.
“The prime minister also expressed best wishes for the continued progress and prosperity of the people of India,” the statement read.
Oli and Modi held the last telephonic conversation on April 10 where both leaders discussed the situation after the lockdown and problems faced by the Nepali people living in India in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
The talks also happened two days ahead of a scheduled high-level meeting between foreign secretary of Nepal and Indian ambassador to Nepal in Kathmandu. Both sides will review the progress made in India funded projects in Nepal. The scheduled meeting is seen as a step towards easing tensions between the two countries.
Relations between the two countries have hit a low lately over boundary disputes.
Nepal's move of publishing a new political map including Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura in response to India's announcement of a road link via Lipulekh has led to souring of ties between the two countries.
Both Kathmandu and Delhi have expressed willingness to hold dialogue but it has yet to materialise.
Saturday's talks between Oli and Modi come on the heels of repeated attempts from both Kathmandu and New Delhi to end the protracted standoff.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Oli also appreciated Modi’s renewed priority to neighbourhood as spelt out in his Independence Day address.
Addressing the nation from Red Fort India’s Independence Day earlier on Saturday, Modi highlighted his government’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and said India considers not only those countries as its neighbours with whom it shares its borders but also those with whom New Delhi has “partnership of security, development and trust”.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Oli during his talks with Modi said that Nepal “looks forward to meaningful bilateral cooperation.”
The two prime ministers also exchanged views on the latest efforts in the fight against Covid-19 and agreed to work together in this area, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Oli also congratulated Modi on India’s election to a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and expressed best wishes for the successful discharge of this important responsibility.
“The two prime ministers agreed to continue discussions on bilateral matters in the future,” said the Foreign Ministry.
India’s Ministry for External Affairs in a statement said that the leaders expressed mutual solidarity in the context of the efforts being made to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in both countries
“Prime Minister [Modi] offered India’s continued support to Nepal in this regard,” read the statement. “Prime Minister [Modi] thanked the Prime Minister of Nepal for his telephone call and recalled the civilizational and cultural links that India and Nepal share.”
The article has been updated to include Foreign Ministry statement.