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Modi heads back to New York after Silicon Valley

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A museum will come up in Chanakyapuri to ceebrate Indian diaspora
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrating Indian diversity via museum. VOA
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San Jose: Prime Minister Narendra Modi departed late Sunday from the Makkah of global technology, the Silicon Valley, leaving it rather impressed with his digital initiatives over a 36-hour whirlwind tour — back to the citadel of global diplomacy and geopolitics in New York.

In the final engagement at the SAP Center here, reminiscent of the grand reception he was accorded exactly a year ago at Madison Square Garden in Big Apple, Modi left after announcing a “physical” connect between US’s tech capital San Francisco and the Indian national capital New Delhi.

He announced a direct flight, twice a week, between the two cities from December 2 to be operated by India’s flag carrier Air India. Modi, in fact, returned to the stage to make the announcement after he had ended his hour-long speech.

The prime minister impressed the top chief executives of some of the world’s best-known technology companies with a quip that he was already in virtual touch with them and others in this tech hub through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Goodbye California! PM @narendramodi departs San Jose for New York, after a very productive weekend,” tweeted foreign office spokesperson Vikas Swarup, soon after Modi concluded his visit — the first by an Indian prime minister to the West coast since Indira Gandhi’s Los Angeles visit in 1982.

A packed schedule awaits the prime minister once again in New York on Monday.

There is a bilateral with President Francois Hollande of France, a call-on by World Bank President Jim Young Kim, a lunch to be hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a one-on-one with the charismatic, young Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and a leaders’ summit on peacekeeping.

The most-watched engagement, however, will be a meeting with US Barack Obama.

(IANS)

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)

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