Visit reflects importance of India-Nepal ties: S Jaishankar

Kathmandu, April 2:  Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, who arrived here on Thursday on a two-day sojourn, said that his visit reflects the importance India attaches to its ties with Nepal.

Jaishankar, who is here as part of his SAARC Yatra [Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to begin SAARC Yatra with Bhutan], is scheduled to hold talks with President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Subash Chandra Nembang and Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.

"It is a great pleasure to visit this beautiful city of Kathmandu as part of my SAARC Yatra. My visit reflects the importance our government and prime minister attach to our relations with Nepal," Jaishankar said upon his arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

Jaishankar will meet his counterpart Shanker Das Bairagi and will hold delegation-level talks that will serve as a follow-up of the two visits of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in July 2014.

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He is scheduled to meet top leaders of major parties including the ruling Nepal Congress, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and opposition party Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M).

"I hope to review progress achieved in our bilateral cooperation following the historic visits of PM Narendra Modi to Nepal last year," Jaishankar said, adding that he looks forward to meeting Foreign Secretary Shankar Bairagi.

"It will be my privilege to call on the senior political leadership of Nepal and to interact with leaders of various political parties."

As part of the "Neighbourhood First" policy, India is committed to strengthen its multifaceted and mutually beneficial relationship with Nepal, Jaishankar said.

This is the second phase of Jaishankar's visit to SAARC member countries. He visited Bhutan on March 1, Pakistan on March 3 and Afghanistan on March 4.


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