India has promised to provide full support to Nepal for the forthcoming polls due in November.
As an initial gesture, India agreed to donate 764 vehicles costing nearly Rs 50 crore as per two letters of exchange signed during a day-long visit by external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday.
“This is a first step that we have taken. We want to give every possible support so that this election doesn’t find any shortcoming,” said Khurshid at a press conference.
India had provided 500 vehicles for the previous constituent assembly elections in 2008 and for the coming polls Nepal government had sought 1000 vehicles from the southern neighbor.
“We all now wish well to the people of Nepal for the forthcoming election which is the next important step in consolidating democracy,” he told reporters earlier at the Tribhuwan International Airport.
He hoped the election would be free and fair and reiterated India’s commitment to working with the people of Nepal for a democratic, stable, peaceful and prosperous country.
Khurshid who is on a goodwill visit on invitation of Nepal’s foreign minister Madhav Prasad Ghimire also held talks with his counterpart on all aspects of bilateral relations between both neighbours.
“The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere and India assured all support for successful completion of the election,” said Nepal foreign ministry spokesperson Arjun Bahadur Thapa.
Talks dealt with logistics for the election, water resources, electricity supply and trade and defence cooperation. The leaders also reviewed progress of bilateral development projects.
The external affairs minister also met president Ram Baran Yadav, chairman of interim government Khil Raj Regmi and leaders of major political parties before flying back to New Delhi in the evening.