In a departure from protocol, Modi was welcomed at the airport by his Nepali counterpart Sushil Koirala. With an aim of starting“new chapter” in India’s relations with Nepal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday to a rousing welcome with his counterpart in a special gesture receiving him at the airport. Mr. Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to pay a bilateral visit to Nepal in 17 years, was received at the Tribhuvan International Airport here by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala who deviated from protocol for the purpose.Deputy Prime Ministers Bam Dev Gautam and Prakash Man Singh were also present at the airport.The Prime Minister is accompanied by a high level delegation including national security advisor Ajit Doval, foreign secretary Sujatha Singh and other senior bureaucrats.

“I am excited about my visit and pleased that I am able to go there within weeks of assuming office as Prime Minister,” he had said in a pre-departure statement yesterday.

“I hope my visit will open a new chapter in India-Nepal relations, characterised by more frequent political engagement and closer cooperation across the full spectrum of our extraordinarily broad-based relations, which will serve as a model and catalyst for South Asian partnership for prosperity,” Modi had said.

During the visit, the two countries are expected to sign agreements in sectors like power. India may also announce economic aid for that country.

The Prime Minister had said that his visit highlights the high priority that his government attaches to relations with Nepal and India’s determination to take our relationship to an entirely new level.

Modi had said that he will have the opportunity to hold detailed discussions with the Nepalese leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

He had said that he looked forward to working with the leadership of Nepal “to forge a new relationship for the new century between our two rapidly transforming countries.” Referring to the recent meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission after a long gap of 23 years, the Prime Minister said it reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and cooperation with a focus on economic relations, trade and connectivity.