Sushma Swaraj set to visit Nepal today

Sushma Swaraj set to visit Nepal today

KATHMANDU: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is to visit Nepal on Thursday on a two-day goodwill visit during which she would hold talks with the country’s top leadership.

Ms Swaraj will call on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Friday.

“This will be a high level goodwill visit,” said the Indian embassy sources.

The high-level visit from India is being considered significant in the political spectrum here.

Ms Swaraj will be the first senior Indian minister to visit Nepal after the conclusion of elections to local bodies, provincial assemblies and federal Parliament.

Nepal successfully concluded three phase of provincial, local and parliamentary elections as part of its efforts to implement the new Constitution that was promulgated in September 2015.

Nepal’s Left alliance is preparing to form a new government which is expected to be headed by CPN-UML chief and former prime minister K P Oli.

Ms Swaraj will meet Mr Oli, who through a letter congratulated Prime Minister Narenra Modi on the 69th Republic Day of India.

She will also meet CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.

The clear victory to the Left alliance — CPN-UML led by Mr Oli and the CPN-Maoist led by Prachanda — was not seen as a positive development for India given that Oli had publicly criticised New Delhi for interfering in Nepal’s internal matters and accused it of toppling his government last year.