India and Nepal have also agreed to further expand educational and cultural exchanges

PM Narendra Modi has assured India’s support in the development of Nepal’s hydropower sector.

During bilateral talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba in Lumbini, Nepal on Monday, PM Modi also assured support in encouraging interested Indian developers to expeditiously explore new projects in this regard.

Providing information about the meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress made in bilateral power sector cooperation in recent months, that covers development of generation projects, power transmission infrastructure and power trade.

Prime Minister Deuba invited Indian companies to undertake the development of West Seti hydropower project in Nepal.

"Today’s meeting with PM @SherBDeuba was excellent. We discussed the full range of relations between India and Nepal. Key MoUs were signed which will diversify and deepen cooperation," PM Modi tweeted.

According to the MEA, both Prime Ministers agreed to further expand educational and cultural exchanges to bring the people of the two countries closer.

During the bilateral meeting, the two leaders followed up on their discussions held on April 2 in New Delhi.

"They discussed specific initiatives and ideas to further strengthen cooperation in various sectors, including culture, economy, trade, connectivity, energy and development partnership," the MEA pointed out.

India and Nepal also agreed in principle to establish sister city relations between Lumbini and Kushinagar, in India's Uttar Pradesh state, that are among the holiest sites of Buddhism and reflects the shared Buddhist heritage between the two countries.

A luncheon was hosted in honour of Prime Minister Modi by Prime Minister Deuba during his stay in Lumbini.

Both Prime Ministers participated in a special event to mark the 2566th Buddha Jayanti celebrations that was organized by Lumbini Development Trust under the aegis of the Government of Nepal. At the event, PM Modi addressed a large gathering of monks, officials, dignitaries and those associated with the Buddhist world.

Nepalese PM Deuba thanked PM Modi for his visit to Lumbini in Buddha Purnima.

"Thank you, Shree @narendramodi Jee, for visiting Lumbini on #BuddhaPurnima today. I believe your special pilgrimage to the Birthplace of Lord Buddha has further strengthened our friendship and cultural ties," he tweeted.

PM Modi responded by describing his visit as a "special one".

"My Nepal visit on Buddha Purnima has been a special one. I would like to thank PM @SherBDeuba, the wonderful people and Government of Nepal for the affection," PM Modi tweeted in reply.

According to the MEA, today's visit has provided further momentum to the multifaceted partnership between the two countries and advanced cooperation in key areas, particularly in education, culture, energy and people to people exchanges.

"Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Lumbini also emphasizes the deep and rich civilizational connect between India and Nepal and the contribution of peoples on both sides to foster and promote it," the MEA said.