New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Tuesday called on his visiting counterpart from Nepal, Bharat Raj Paudyal, and the two sides reviewed the progress made on many projects and initiatives announced during the recent visits of the Prime Ministers of both countries to each other's nations.

The two secretaries noted with appreciation the progress on many projects and initiatives announced during the recent visits of the Prime Minister of Nepal, Sher Bahadur Deuba to India in April 2022 and the Prime Minister of India to Lumbini, Nepal in May 2022, the MEA press release stated.

Taking to Twitter, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "FS Vinay Kwatra held a meeting with his counterpart from Nepal Bharat Paudyal on Sep 13. Discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest. Agreed to carry forward the positive momentum in the relations as per the vision of the leaders of India and Nepal."

During the meeting, the two Foreign Secretaries reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation between India and Nepal, including economic and commercial cooperation, enhancing connectivity, development cooperation, trade, culture, and people-people relations, the MEA release said.

The two sides also discussed the recent progress in bilateral cooperation in the power sector including through the export of power from Nepal to India.

They agreed to work together to further strengthen such cooperation in keeping with the Joint Vision Statement on Power Sector Cooperation adopted during the visit of the PM of Nepal to India in April 2022.

Both sides welcomed the recent signing of the MoUs between NHPC, India and IBN, Nepal on the development of the West Seti and SR-6 projects.

In terms of connectivity projects, the progress made in the operationalisation of the Kurta-Bijalpura segment of the Jayanagar-Bardibas rail link and Bathnaha-Nepal Custom Yard segment of the Jogbani-Biratnagar rail link, which are significant steps in further strengthening the people-people links, was noted with satisfaction, the press release said.

To further strengthen people-people links, Both sides agreed to expeditiously progress on project proposals for the Ramayana Circuit.

Both sides also agreed to expeditiously implement the extension of the petroleum pipeline from Amlekhgunj to Chitwan and the construction of an LPG pipeline from Motihari to Chitwan, the MEA statement said.

Nepal's Foreign Secretary appreciated the Covid-19 assistance provided by India during the pandemic. He thanked the Indian side for keeping the supply lines of trade open, even during the peak of the lockdown.

Nepal's Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal is visiting India from September 13-14 at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Vinay Mohan Kwatra. On Wednesday, Paudyal is expected to call on the External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar.

The visit of the Foreign Secretary of Nepal is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries, the MEA press release said.

Recently, the Indian Prime Minister visited Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha, where he laid a foundation stone along with the Nepalese Prime Minister for a Buddhist Vihara, which was being built with Indian assistance.

The Prime Minister of Nepal also made his first bilateral visit abroad to India since taking his oath in July 2021. The visit was a success in launching connectivity projects and signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs).

Nepal is an important neighbour of India and occupies a special significance in its foreign policy because of its geographic, historical, cultural, and economic linkages/ties span centuries.

India and Nepal share similar ties in terms of Hinduism and Buddhism with Buddha's birthplace Lumbini located in present-day Nepal.

The two countries not only share an open border and unhindered movement of people, but they also have close bonds through marriages and familial ties, popularly known as Roti-Beti ka Rishta.

The India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 forms the bedrock of the special relations that exist between India and Nepal.

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande is on a five-day official visit to Nepal, on the invitation of General Prabhu Ram Sharma, Chief of Army Staff of Nepal Army.

This was followed by a meeting with his counterpart General Prabhu Ram Sharma, during which both delegations discussed strengthening longstanding army-to-army relations. He was also given a comprehensive briefing by senior officers of the Nepal Army.

On behalf of the Indian government, the Indian Army Chief presented training equipment to the Nepal Army along with Light Vehicles which would augment the capabilities of Nepal Army personnel.