Two prime minister discuss expansion of cooperation in the civil aviation sector

Recognizing the vibrant people to people contacts and friendly bilateral ties, the two Prime Ministers, Narendra Modi and K.P. Sharma Oli directed the respective officials to expand cooperation in the civil aviation sector, including early technical discussion on additional air entry routes to Nepal by respective technical teams.

They agreed to take further steps to enhance the economic and physical connectivity by air, land, and water. India and Nepal on Saturday agreed to enhance their bilateral trade and connectivity respectively.

Mr. Oli raised the concern on the issue of airspace proposal between Nepal and India during their meeting in New Delhi a month ago. Addressing the lawmakers from Province 5 in Butwal, Oli assured his audience that his government will secure a deal with India to allow international flights to and fro the soon-to-be ready Gautam Buddha International Airport.

Nepal has urged to provide three new entry air routes through Janakpur, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar with the view to connect three new additional international airports i.e. Nijgadh, Bhairawa and Pokhara. However, Nepal presently has only one air route for its international flights.

As international airlines connecting Kathmandu use the Simara route (SMR), aircraft have to make their descent and climb in the Indian airspace following the STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) and SID (Standard Instrument Departure Route), respectively.

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 As per a joint statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the two Prime Ministers of India and Nepal, underscored the importance of trade and economic ties between India and Nepal.

In this context, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the outcome of the recently held Inter-Governmental Committee meeting on key issues such trade, transit and cooperation.

The two Prime Ministers underlined the catalytic role of connectivity in stimulating economic growth and promoting movement of people.

With a view to further strengthening the close religious and cultural ties between the two countries and peoples, the two Prime Ministers launched Nepal-India Ramayana Circuit connecting Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, with Ayodhya and other sites associated with the epic Ramayana.

The two Prime Ministers recalled their meeting in New Delhi during the state visit of Prime Minister Oli last month and agreed to maintain the momentum generated by the visit by taking effective measures for the implementation of all the agreements and understandings reached in the past, the statement continued.

They also agreed that effective implementation of the bilateral initiatives in agriculture, railway linkages and inland waterways development, as agreed upon by the two sides during the recent visit of Prime Minister Oli to India, would have a transformation impact in these areas.

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