Indian foreign minister Swaraj may visit Nepal in early February

Published On: January 27, 2018 01:23 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 26: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is planning to visit Nepal in the first week of February. 

Highly-placed sources said that although the date of the visit has not been fixed, the Indian side has expressed her desire to visit Kathmandu. The visit is likely to take place ahead of the National Assembly polls scheduled for February 7. 

Indian Embassy spokesperson in Kathmandu Ruby Jaspreet, however, said she is not aware of any such development. 

Minister Swaraj is planning to visit Nepal without any prior scheduled programs or diplomatic engagements with Nepal. During her two-day stay in Nepal, Swaraj, according to sources, plans to hold meetings with all top leaders of the major political parties including the CPN-UML Chairman K P Sharma Oli.

The planned visit is widely seen as New Delhi's overtures to Nepal to improve its difficult relations with the CPN-UML, which is set to form new government.
The relations between Nepal and India reached to a new low during the premiership of UML Chairman Oli after the promulgation of the new constitution.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already called the UML chief twice over telephone. In his recent phone conversation, Modi reportedly invited Oli to visit India at the latter's convenient time.

Oli had also invited Modi to visit Nepal to visit holy sites of Janakpur and Muktinath. Many in Nepal have also seen the upcoming visit by Swaraj as a preparatory visit to lay the groundwork for a visit by Prime Minister Modi to Nepal anytime soon. 

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