India's development and modernisation are incomplete and intrinsically and symbiotically linked to the development and modernisation of its neighbouring countries, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said as he wrapped up his two-day visit to Nepal yesterday.
"In our region, our South Asia, we are symbiotically linked. We need each other. India's rise, India's economic growth and India's modernisation are inextricably linked to our region and our geography," he told an event in Kathmandu.
That is why leaders from India's neighbouring countries were invited to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony in 2014 and in 2019, he recalled.
Though made in Kathmandu, the top Indian diplomat's remarks about India and South Asia are seen in New Delhi as aimed at setting the tempo for next month's virtual summit between Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
Shringla said India is on the cusp of the availability of a vaccine for novel coronavirus and assured the people of Nepal that once a vaccine is rolled out, meeting its requirements would be a priority for New Delhi.
"Given our genetic profiles, what works for India is likely to work for Nepal as well. Together, we will recover from the pandemic and together we will protect our people," he said.
India has at least five promising vaccine candidates at advanced stages of trials and dozens of sites across India are conducting vaccine trials on all ages and social groups.
The country helped Nepal in dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak, be it in the form of equipment and supplies, or ensuring uninterrupted flow of goods across the border, the foreign secretary said, adding that it also assisted in repatriating Nepalese citizens from various countries along with Indian nationals.
Yesterday, Shringla handed 2,000 vials of Remdesivir injections to the Nepalese foreign minister.