New Delhi: External affairs minister S. Jaishankar on Friday inaugurated 59 post-earthquake reconstruction projects built with India’s development assistance in neighbouring Nepal. Nepalese foreign minister N.P. Saud joined Mr Jaishankar during the inauguration of the reconstruction projects, which included 25 schools, 32 health facilities, a culture sector project and the new building of the Tribhuvan University Central Library in Kathmandu.

After the event, the external affairs minister, in a post on X, said that the inauguration marked the "concrete delivery of the commitments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal's post-earthquake reconstruction" after the devastating earthquake of 2015.

After that earthquake nine years ago, the Indian government, during Mr Modi’s first tenure in office, committed over `8,300 crores to the reconstruction of Nepal.

In his remarks at the inauguration, Mr Jaishankar said, "Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the government of India is committed to redefining the relationship with partners in our neighbourhood, especially with Nepal."

He added: "In recent years, we have witnessed the real transformation of the India-Nepal relationship. With significant strides made in a variety of areas, this partnership has expanded multifold in connectivity, be it physical, digital or energy-related. It has become a cornerstone of this expanding collaboration. 

This has further strengthened the

people-to-people links between our two countries... We have signed some really important agreements, both in the areas of power sector cooperation and project implementation...these will positively impact the lives of ordinary people in  Nepal.

On Friday, Mr Jaishankar concluded his two-day visit to the Himalayan nation. He also visited the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu dedicated to Lord Shiva, early in the morning before starting his engagements in the country on the second day.

Earlier on Thursday, after co-chairing the seventh India-Nepal joint commission meeting in Kathmandu with Mr Saud, the external affairs minister announced several agreements between the two nations, including the "long-term power trade", under which India will import 10,000 MW of electricity from Nepal in the next 10 years.

Mr Jaishankar announced pacts on "cooperation in renewable energy development, implementation of high-impact community development projects, the Munal Satellite and handover of the fifth tranche of post-Jajarkot earthquake relief supply".

The two foreign ministers also "jointly inaugurated three cross-border transmission lines".

Cooperation in defence and security was also discussed. Mr Jaishankar also called on Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" and President Ramchandra Paudel. He had also met Nepalese former Prime Ministers Sher Bahadur Deuba, Madhav Nepal and K.P. Sharma Oli.

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