Kathmandu, Aug 10 (IANS) Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday called on Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba here, in their first meeting since the Nepali Congress leader took over in a power-sharing deal in June.
“A unique relationship of friendship & cooperation #IndiaNepal. EAM @SushmaSwaraj calls on Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with Deuba comes ahead of the latter’s visit to India from August 23, his first foreign visit since assuming office in June.
The meeting also comes ahead of the visit of Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang to Nepal from Monday – which will be watched closely by India.
Sushma Swaraj’s visit comes days after Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara said his country will not take any sides in the ongoing Doklam standoff between India and China.
Mahara, who is also the Foreign Minister, said that Nepal wants India and China to use “peaceful diplomatic means” to resolve the issue.
“Nepal will not get dragged into this or that side in the border dispute,” he told reporters earlier this week.
On Friday, Sushma Swaraj will participate in the 15th Ministerial Meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) here.
The visiting Indian minister is also scheduled to meet Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandrai, opposition leader K.P. Oli, Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” and Madhes-based leaders.