Sushma Swaraj to visit Nepal in Feb: Kathmandu trip comes in wake of polls which saw Left coalition gain majority in Parliament

New Delhi: Even as the political situation in Nepal remains fluid, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will embark on a visit to the Himalayan nation from 1st to 2nd February, it was announced on Monday.

"The visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level political exchanges between India and Nepal, and reflects the expanding bilateral partnership and the importance that the two countries attach to further strengthening it across diverse sectors," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

"The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to hold discussions with political leaders of Nepal on issues of mutual interest, and to advance age-old, special ties of friendship between India and Nepal," the statement said.

Sushma Swaraj's visit will come in the wake of the parliamentary and local body elections in 2017 that saw a Left parties' coalition gaining the majority in parliament.

Sushma Swaraj addressing the United Nations General Assembly. AP

File image of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. AP

Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) Chairman KP Sharma Oli is being widely seen as the country's Prime Minister-in-waiting. Oli, who is seen as pro-China and who fiercely opposed Constitution amendment in the past, said in Pokhara city on Friday that he was ready to amend the Constitution.

The CPN (Maoist Centre) led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" became the second largest party by winning 36 seats in Parliament and 73 seats in provincial assembly under the first past the post (FPTP) category.

The Nepali Congress (NC), which was the largest party in the last election, managed to win 23 seats in Parliament and was elected in 45 provincial constituencies. It became the third largest party this time.

Sushma Swaraj's upcoming visit also assumes significance as India is a major development partner for Nepal.

Updated Date: Jan 30, 2018 09:24 AM

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