EAM Sushma Swaraj arrives in Kathmandu for BIMSTEC summit

Feel strongly for welfare of Indian workers abroad Sushma Swaraj

National News

Swaraj, who arrived in Kathmandu earlier on Thursday to participate in the Bimstec ministerial meeting, called on PM Deuba in the evening.

In a statement, she said, "On the first day, EAM called on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba".

Further, after the inauguration ceremony, all the delegates had a brief bilateral meeting, following which they were invited for dinner hosted by Nepal Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

Prime Minister Deuba's upcoming visit to India scheduled to begin on August 23 was also discussed during the meeting.

Swaraj, according to Bhattarai, told Deuba that India is all set to welcome Deuba in New Delhi.

There was no communication on whether Swaraj raised the Doklam issue with Deuba.

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Nepal is the current chair of the regional grouping and the member states will also discuss fixing the date of the fourth BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Nepal later this year.

Swaraj is learnt to have conveyed to the Nepali side that India is eagerly waiting to welcome Deuba in New Delhi. Nepal and China in May signed a framework agreement on Beijing's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, and the two sides are also in talks to build a cross-border rail link.

Swaraj is learnt to have said that more discussions between the two sides are needed for making tangible progress on various Nepal-India aspects, including past pacts and understandings.

This is Swaraj's sixth visit to Nepal and the first high level visit since the new government under Deuba assumed office in Nepal in June 2017, said an Indian Embassy statement. The two sides discussed ways to enhance cultural linkages and people-to-people contacts between our two countries.

The foreign ministers of Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan are participating in BIMSTEC ministerial meeting while Myanmar and Thailand have sent their deputy foreign ministers.

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