New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held telephonic talk with his new Nepal counterpart, Sher Bahadur Deuba, and both the leaders agreed to "work together" to enhance the bilateral cooperation in all areas. The Prime Minister congratulated Mr Deuba for his appointment as the Prime Minister of Nepal and for winning the confidence vote in Parliament.
"Spoke with Prime Minister Deuba to convey my congratulations and best wishes. We will work together to further enhance the wide-ranging cooperation between India and Nepal, including in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr Modi said in a tweet.
"Recalling the unique and millennia-old people-to-people linkages that underpin the special friendship between India and Nepal, the leaders agreed to work together to enhance bilateral cooperation in all areas," an MEA statement said here.
Both Mr Modi and Mr Deuba discussed, in particular, ways to strengthen cooperation and coordination in the context of the ongoing efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Deuba won the vote of confidence in Nepal Parliament as a total of 165 members voted in support of Deuba, with just 83, mostly loyalists of CPN-UML chairman and outgoing prime minister K P Sharma Oli casting their votes against.
In another tweet on Sunday, PM Modi had said: "I look forward to working with you to further enhance our unique partnership in all sectors, and strengthen our deep-rooted people-to-people ties".
India has lately tried to remain politically neutral especially after the dissolution of parliament in May. For a long time, New Delhi faced the charge of playing 'elder brother' and interfering in Nepal's internal matters. The charge used to be denied nevertheless.
Since October 2020, the chief of R&AW, Samant Kumar Goel, Indian army chief Gen M M Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla visited Nepal to address various issues.
All three had laid emphasis on continuing the mutual cooperation. Mr Deuba replaces K P Sharma Oli whose stint was marred by several controversies.