PM Modi holds talks with Nepal Prime Minister Deuba in Glasgow

The meeting with Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba, on the sidelines of the U.N. conference on climate change in Glasgow, took place after PM Narendra Modi launched the Initiative for the Resilient Island States (IRIS) for developing infrastructure of small island nations.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held two important bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Nepal and Israel on the sidelines of the COP26 meet in Glasgow on Tuesday. The meeting between the Indian and the Nepalese PM was the first since Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba was appointed by the Supreme Court of Nepal in an extraordinary judicial intervention in July.

“The two leaders noted the excellent cooperation between India and Nepal during the pandemic particularly through the supply of vaccines, medicines and medical equipment from India to Nepal as well as by ensuring the flow of goods across the borders,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement after the meeting.

Nepal was part of the first group of countries to receive India’s Covishield vaccine as part of New Delhi’s vaccine diplomacy but the vaccine supply to Nepal was interrupted for months once India was hit by the second wave during April-May 2021. The situation improved in October when the Government of India allowed the Serum Institute of India to export 10 lakh doses of Covishield each to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Mr. Modi had earlier spoken to Mr. Deuba in July after the coalition government in Kathmandu had proved its majority in the Nepalese Parliament. The meeting is being interpreted as a significant one as both sides are also in talks for exchange of high level visits. Mr. Deuba had last month sent former Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat as his emissary to Delhi to reset ties between Delhi and Kathmandu.

Mr. Modi also met Israeli PM Naftali Bennett for the first time on the sidelines of COP26. The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Arindam Bagchi said that the two leaders reviewed bilateral ties and discussed “high technology and innovation”. Mr Modi had visited Israel in July 2017 and was hosted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr Bennett replaced Mr Netanyahu in June this year.

Mr Modi invited the Israeli leader to visit India to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relation between India and Israel. India established formal diplomatic ties with Israel in January 1992 under Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and both sides are preparing plans for celebrating three decades of diplomatic and defence ties in 2022.

Apart from national leaders, Mr Modi also met with Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. MEA said in a statement that Mr Modi appreciated the work of the Foundation in India and discussed emerging opportunities in areas like “green hydrogen, aviation fuels, battery storage, and vaccine research” in India.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 12:23:39 AM |

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