Kathmandu: Nepal on Sunday said it had made "all arrangements" at Janakpur, Lumbini and Muktinath to accord a "warm welcome" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hours after India announced that he will only attend the SAARC summit and will not be able to visit other places in the country.
"The Government of Nepal had made all arrangements to warmly receive and welcome the Prime Minister of India to Janakpur, Lumbini and Muktinath as desired by the Prime Minister earlier," Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The Foreign Ministry said India has communicated to Nepal Government that Modi will not be able to travel?to other places this time due to "unavoidable domestic" commitments and prescheduled?travels within the country.
Earlier, spokesperson of India's External Affairs Ministry, Syed Akbaruddin, said, "Due to Prime Minister's unavoidable domestic commitments and pre-scheduled travels within the country, he will travel only to Kathmandu to attend the SAARC Summit."
He said the Prime Minister deeply values the special relationship between India and Nepal and will always welcome every occasion to visit Nepal and interact with the leadership and the people of Nepal.
Modi will be leaving India on November 25 to attend the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu on November 26-27.
The Prime Minister was scheduled to visit Janakpur, an ancient city said to be the birthplace of Sita, situated 250 kms south of Kathmandu.
He was also keen to visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, and another sacred Hindu pilgrimage site, Muktinath, located in the southern mountainous region.
Meanwhile, Nepal government has made elaborate arrangements for the SAARC summit to be held on November 26-27.
The entire Kathmandu city has been put under strict security cover.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Secretaries of the SAARC? countries held a deliberations and discussed agenda for the summit.
They also discussed ways to enhance cooperation on dealing with challenges like terrorism, energy security, climate change and ways to deeped cooperation in trade and business.
Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh and other top diplomats met at the 41st meeting of SAARC Standing Committee ahead of the 18th SAARC Summit.