Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Kathmandu to attend the two-day South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Nepal on Tuesday.
India is set to pitch for greater regional connectivity, people-to-people contact, and stronger cooperation on energy infrastructure development during the SAARC summit.
Leaders from eight South Asian countries will attend the two-day event which will begin on Wednesday.
Before leaving for the Nepal, Modi said, "The 18th SAARC summit will focus on the theme of 'Deeper Regional Integration for Peace and Prosperity'. India has always emphasised the importance of greater regional integration at all levels for the socio-economic development of the South Asian region."
"We hope that the Summit will lead to concrete outcomes, particularly in regard to various initiatives on enhancing connectivity that have been under discussion for a long time," he added.
Here is the complete statement by Modi prior to his departure to Nepal:
I will leave today on a visit to Nepal to attend the 18th SAARC Summit, being hosted by the Government of Nepal in Kathmandu on 26-27 November 2014.
Although this is my first SAARC Summit, during the last six months, I have interacted extensively with leaders of SAARC countries beginning with their auspicious presence at my swearing-in ceremony. Development of close relations with our neighbours is a key priority for my government.
The 18th SAARC Summit will focus on the theme of "Deeper Regional Integration for Peace and Prosperity". India has always emphasised the importance of greater regional integration at all levels for the socio-economic development of the South Asian region.
We have undertaken several initiatives in this regard on bilateral, sub-regional and regional basis, and will continue to do more. We hope that the Summit will lead to concrete outcomes, particularly in regard to various initiatives on enhancing connectivity that have been under discussion for a long time.
I also look forward to holding bilateral discussions with other South Asian Heads of State and Government on the margins of the SAARC Summit.
This will be my second visit to Nepal within four months, which reflects the importance we attach to our unique and special relations with Nepal. There has been significant progress in the implementation of the decisions taken during my visit to Nepal in August 2014.
I look forward to reviewing the progress in our relations with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and other Nepalese leaders. We also hope to conclude some concrete agreements in the areas of connectivity and development cooperation.