The President of India,
Shri Pranab Mukherjee received Rt. Hon’ble Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari,
President of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal yesterday (18.04.2017)
at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also hosted a banquet in her honour.
Welcoming the President of Nepal, the President said that he was
delighted to have this opportunity to receive her as the first woman
President of the country. He said her choice of India for the first
State Visit abroad is appreciated.The President fondly remembered his
recent visit to Nepal and meetings with her last year. He thanked the
President of Nepal and the Government and people of Nepal for the
overwhelming warmth and gracious hospitality accorded during his visit.
The President said India is happy that Nepal is engaged in the important
task of implementing the Constitution and pursuing a progressive and
inclusive political agenda. He said India deeply valuesits historical
and traditionally close relations with Nepal. The long shared open
border and national treatment of each other reflect a closeness that few
other countries share.
Later, in his banquet speech, President Pranab Mukherjee said the close
bonds of kinship and cooperation between India and Nepal are defined by
geography and enriched by common culture and history. Our age-old
fraternal relations have been nurtured by successive Governments and
leaders in both India and Nepal into a dynamic and enriching
partnership. We consider it natural and logical that as neighbours with
a unique and exemplary relationship, both nations should continuously
build on our many complementarities, explore all opportunities and
pursue new avenues of co-operation to our mutual benefit.
The President said, India has an abiding interest in the socio-economic
development of Nepal. We believe that the prosperity, security and
welfare of our two nations are inter-linked and inter-dependent. India
is committed to extending all possible support in accordance with the
priorities of the people and Government of Nepal. Today, as democratic
and pluralistic nations, both India and Nepal aspire for a higher growth
rate, an inclusive society, sustainable development and an external
environment that facilitates our national development. Both our peoples
are opposed to the menace of terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations. Development and progress is what is of utmost importance
to us. Towards our common goals, we have been co-operating closely, to
very successful outcomes.
The President said Nepal is passing through a crucial phase in its quest
for peace, stability and multi-party democracy with the aim of
consolidating the gains of democracy and achieving economic prosperity.
India lauds the enterprise and achievements of the people of Nepal.
Their wisdom and resilience will, no doubt, succeed in forging consensus
through dialogue and understanding so as to achieve their objectives
within a federal and democratic framework, taking all sections of their
society on board.
The President said the visit of Nepal President has provided an
opportunity to reaffirm our special relationship and to identify ways
and means of further enriching our multifaceted partnership. She will
find one clear and consistent message of India’s unequivocal commitment
to bilateral co-operation and friendship with Nepal. India also seeks to
advance our common interests through regional and sub-regional
co-operation based on respect and sensitivity to each other’s interests
and concerns. The President said together, we can work with our
neighbours for a better future for our respective peoples and indeed our