President Pranab Mukherjee received Bidya Devi Bhandari, President Nepal yesterday at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also hosted a banquet in her honour.

Welcoming the President of Nepal, the President said that he was delighted to have this opportunity to receive her as the first woman President of the country. He said her choice of India for the first State Visit abroad is appreciated. The President fondly remembered his recent visit to Nepal and meetings with her last year.  He thanked the President of Nepal and the Government and people of Nepal for the overwhelming warmth and gracious hospitality accorded during his visit.

The President said India is happy that Nepal is engaged in the important task of implementing the Constitution and pursuing a progressive and inclusive political agenda. He said India deeply values its historical and traditionally close relations with Nepal.  The long shared open border and national treatment of each other reflect a closeness that few other countries share.

Later, in his banquet speech, President Pranab Mukherjee said the close bonds of kinship and cooperation between India and Nepal are defined by geography and enriched by common culture and history.  Our age-old fraternal relations have been nurtured by successive Governments and leaders in both India and Nepal into a dynamic and enriching partnership.  We consider it natural and logical that as neighbours with a unique and exemplary relationship, both nations should continuously build on our many complementarities, explore all opportunities and pursue new avenues of co-operation to our mutual benefit.



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