The visiting Indian Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj remained engaged in high-level political meetings on Saturday, as she met with the Prime Minister, President, Speaker and other key political leaders of Nepal.
“During her meeting with President Ram Baran Yadav at Shital Niwas, the two discussed bilateral ties along with political, economic and social issues,” said Sharada Prasad Trital, secretary at the President’s Office.
Earlier, Swaraj met with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala at the latter’s official residence at Baluwatar. During her meeting with PM Koirala, Swaraj expressed her desire that the constitution making process will complete in time.
“Nepal is in India’s top priority. India will extend all necessary cooperation in constitution making process and the remaining works of peace process,” PM Koirala’s foreign affairs advisor Dinesh Bhattarai quoted Swaraj, as saying.
In reply, Koirala said he is confident about issuing a new constitution in one year and that the promulgation of constitution will pave way for the development of Nepal.
Swaraj also met with Speaker of Legislature-Parliament and Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly, Subash Nembang at the latter’s office in Singha Durbar.
“We have started making necessary arrangements so that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi can address Nepal’s parliament,” Nembang told Swaraj in the meeting and later shared this with the journalists.
During her meeting with UCPN (Maoist) leaders, the Maoists’ top leaders told her that Nepal’s political parties are moving ahead for economic prosperity and urged India for necessary cooperation.
“Nepal and India need to develop relations at political level and for that, they require holding dialogue at the same level. Dialogue at other levels has been non-beneficial to both the sides so far,” UCPN (M) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha quoted his party chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, as saying in the meeting.
Swaraj collectively met with various leaders of Madhesi political parties. They were chairperson of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Ganatantrik) Raj Kishor Yadav, chairperson of Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party Mahantha Thakur, chairperson of Nepal Sadbhawana Party Rajendra Mahato and chairperson of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Loktantrik) Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar.
The Indian Embassy organized a press meet to inform the journalists about the day-long activities of Swaraj today.
“The meetings of Swaraj have been crucial in improving bilateral relations,” Sayeed Akbaruddin, spokesperson at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, said in the press meet.
“Nepali leaders want to strengthen bilateral relations through co-work. Both the countries can work together in various sectors including power and social development.”
Meanwhile, the meeting of Nepal-India Joint Commission was still going on at the time of filing this news on Saturday evening.
“In the foreign ministry level Commission meeting, a number of issues including political, security, border management, economic cooperation, transit, power cooperation and Pancheshor hydel project, among others, were discussed,” said spokesperson at Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dipak Dhital.