New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) India and Nepal today agreed to boost cooperation in the connectivity sector as the two sides decided to develop inland waterways for cargo movement, within the framework of trade and transit arrangements, the MEA said.

Seeking to reset ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli held wide-ranging talks.

They vowed to step up overall engagement and take the relationship to newer heights on the basis of “equality, mutual trust and respect”.

“The prime ministers of India and Nepal recognised the untapped potential of inland waterways to contribute towards overall economic development of the region,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

Taking cognisance of their geographies and noting the development of inland waterways in both countries, the two leaders took the “landmark decision to develop the inland waterways for the movement of cargo, within the framework of trade and transit arrangements, providing additional access to sea for Nepal,” it said.

“This new initiative would enable cost-effective and efficient movement of cargo. The prime minister of Nepal noted the enormous impact the additional connectivity would have on the growth of business and economy of Nepal,” the statement said.

“To facilitate the movement of traffic-in-transit, the two leaders directed their respective officials to formulate and mutually agree upon the requisite procedures and modalities for including inland waterways as an additional means of transport in the Protocol to the Treaty of Transit between India and Nepal,” it added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.