Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a brief visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, on May 16 and hold extensive talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba to expand bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, including hydropower, development and more. Connection
According to Anil Pariyar, Press Adviser to the Prime Minister of Nepal, Modi will visit the Himalayan nation at Deuba’s invitation.
He is visiting Lumbini all day on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. This will be the Prime Minister’s fifth visit to Nepal since 2014.
According to Indian embassy sources, he is scheduled to land in Lumbini at 10 am (local time) and return home around 5 pm (local time).
Modi will visit the holy Maya Devi temple and offer prayers, they said.
He will also address the Buddha Jayanti function organized by Lumbini Development Trust.
The visiting Prime Minister will also take part in the groundbreaking ceremony for a center for Buddhist culture and heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone.
Lumbini, located in the Terai plain of southern Nepal, is one of the holiest sites of Buddhism, where Lord Buddha was born.
Prime Minister Modi and his Nepali counterpart Deuba will also hold a bilateral meeting in Lumbini.
“During the meeting, they will exchange views on Nepal-India cooperation and mutual interests,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
In a statement before his visit, Modi said he was looking forward to meeting Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba again during their “productive” talks during his visit to India last month.
He said the two sides would build on the basis of shared understanding to expand cooperation in multiple areas, including hydropower, development and connectivity.
“Our relationship with Nepal is unique. Cultural and people-to-people contacts between India and Nepal create a lasting foundation for our close relationship.
“The purpose of my visit is to celebrate and deepen these time-honored connections that have been nurtured for centuries and enshrined in our long history of reunion,” Modi said in his departure statement on Sunday.
On Friday, Foreign Secretary Binoy Mohan Quatra said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with Nepal’s counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba in Lumbini, Nepal on May 16 would have a broader agenda to further expand cooperation in a number of areas, including hydropower and connectivity.
Asked whether the border dispute between the two sides would be discussed, he said India has always maintained that the existing bilateral processes are the best way to move forward on these issues, adding that they should be discussed “responsibly”. “Politicization”.
According to Indian embassy sources, External Affairs Minister S Jayashankar, Foreign Secretary Quatra, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and other senior officials will be accompanying the Prime Minister.
Deuba was in Delhi on his first bilateral foreign trip last month after becoming prime minister for the fifth time in July 2021.
During the visit, which was aimed at bringing new momentum to bilateral relations, Deuba discussed a number of important issues with Modi, including the border issue.
Nepal is important to India in the context of its overall strategic interests in the region, and leaders of the two countries have often referred to the old “bread-and-butter” relationship.
The landlocked Himalayan nation shares more than 1,850 km of borders with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Nepal relies heavily on India for transportation of goods and services.