Results of Nepal trip more than expected: Swaraj

Kathmandu: External Affairs Minister Suhma Swaraj announced her three-day visit to Nepal as a success with the two countries resolving to extend cooperation to strengthen bilateral ties. Swaraj said the results of the trip were more than her expectations, before she left for New Delhi.

During her visit, Swaraj met Nepal’s top leaders including President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. Swaraj also met UCPN-Maoist chief and Leader of Opposition Prachanda.

Swaraj was in Nepal to co-chair the meeting of the Indo-Nepal Joint Commission which was held on Saturday after a gap of 23 years and to prepare the ground for the two-day official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from August 3 — the first visit by an Indian Premier in over 17 years. The late Prime Minister I K Gujral had visited Nepal in 1997.

During the visit, India told Nepal that the new Indian government is very keen to impart “renewed momentum” to their relations, even as the two countries decide to step up cooperation in key areas of defence, security, trade and hydro power.

The two countries also agreed to “review” and adjust” the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 to reflect the current realties. The decision was taken at the meeting of the Indo-Nepal Joint Commission co-chaired by Swaraj and her Nepalese counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.

The two sides issued a joint statement which said the meeting reviewed the entire gamut of Nepal-India relations and affirmed that the Joint Commission would make an important contribution to strengthen the traditionally warm and close ties between the two countries.

The Nepalese leaders during their meetings with Swaraj expressed their “happiness” and “excitement” over the initiative taken by India to bring new momentum in ties and said they have high expectations from the forthcoming visit of Modi.

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