At the invitation of President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, President Bidya Devi Bhandari paid a state visit to India from 17-21 April, 2017. This is the first State visit of the President of Nepal after assuming office of the President in October 2015.
The President of Nepal is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sita Devi Yadav, Minister for Peace and Reconstruction, Members of Parliament, and other senior officials of the Government of Nepal.
The President of Nepal was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 18 April. The President of Nepal visited Rajghat and paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. She visited the Yamuna Bio-diversity Park, a showcase of environment conservation and protection efforts on the banks of river Yamuna.
The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi held talks with the President of Nepal on 18 April. The Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari, Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, and Minister of Finance and Defense Arun Jaitley, called on the President of Nepal. An interaction with the business community was jointly hosted by the CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM in honor of the visiting dignitary. President of India, Pranab Mukherjee hosted a state banquet in honor of the President of Nepal.
“Both the sides noted that India-Nepal relations derive their strength and salience from shared history, common cultural ethos, and long years of close and intense people to people contacts facilitated by open borders. The Indian leadership reiterated the importance of its ‘neighborhood first’ policy, and the high priority India attaches to strengthening relations with Nepal in every sphere. The Indian leadership expressed support to Nepal’s endeavors to achieve socio-economic transformation for the well being of its people. They conveyed the good wishes of the people and Government of India to the friendly people of Nepal in their national efforts to achieve peace, stability and all round development,” said a press release issued by Indian Embassy.
“The Indian leadership reiterated its support to ongoing efforts of the Government of Nepal in moving constitution implementation process forward through dialogue and taking all sections of its society on board.”
During the meetings, President of Nepal reiterated Nepal’s commitment to further strengthen the age-old, close and friendly ties between the two countries in diverse sectors. She conveyed the good wishes of the people and Government of Nepal to the friendly people of India. She thanked India for its continued support for Nepal’s socio-economic development, in particular, India’s support for post-earthquake reconstruction process. She conveyed Nepal’s commitment to take forward the relationship between the two countries on the basis of goodwill, understanding and mutual benefit. President of Nepal thanked the President of India for the warm welcome and hospitality extended during her stay at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Both the sides expressed satisfaction at the intensive bilateral exchanges in recent months at all levels between the two countries to deepen and strengthen ongoing cooperation in sectors such as trade, economic, investments, water resources, energy cooperation, security, post-earthquake reconstruction efforts, culture, education and people to people ties. These exchanges reflect the wide canvass of bilateral cooperative agenda for shared prosperity and development of the two peoples.
Both the sides positively assessed the implementation of on-going connectivity and development projects, and expressed satisfaction at the recent initiatives taken towards expediting implementation of various development projects, especially the cross-border connectivity projects such as the development of Terai roads, cross-border rail links, integrated check posts, and cross-border petroleum products pipeline. Both the sides reviewed with satisfaction the expanding vistas of bilateral energy cooperation, including development of hydropower projects in Nepal, power trade and development of high-capacity cross-border transmission lines.
The State visit of the President of Nepal provided the opportunity to the two sides to review all aspects of bilateral relations and to reiterate their commitments to take India-Nepal partnership to a new level across diverse sectors for mutual benefit.
The President of Nepal travelled Rajkot (Gujarat), and visited Somnath and Dwarkadhish Temples and offered her prayers. The Chief Minister of Gujarat hosted a dinner banquet in the honor of President of Nepal in Rajkot.
The President of Nepal also travelled Bhubaneshwar. During her visit to Odisha, she observed women empowerment initiatives of the State Government of Odisha, and offered prayers at the Jagannath Temple in Puri and Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneshwar. The Governor of Odisha hosted a banquet in honor of the President of Nepal in Bhubaneshwar.
“The President of Nepal thanked the Government and people of India for the exceptional hospitality extended to her and to the members of the delegation. India. The ongoing State visit of President of Nepal is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries, and will further deepen the friendly and cooperative ties that exist between India and Nepal,” said a press release issued by Indian Embassy.