India looks forward to work with Nepal's democratically elected govt: Sushma Swaraj

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KATHMANDU: India is looking forward to working with Nepal’s democratically elected government to take bilateral ties to newer heights for mutual benefit and supports its efforts for economic growth and development, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj assured the country’s top leadership.

Swaraj, who arrived here on Thursday on a two-day goodwill visit, today called on President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and held talks with CPN-Maoist Centre chairman ‘Prachanda’.

Swaraj during her interactions on Friday discussed ways to advance India’s multi-dimensional and historic ties with Nepal.

Swaraj conveyed to all political leaders of Nepal that the Government of India was looking forward to working with the democratically elected government to take forward bilateral ties to newer heights for mutual benefit, and to support the Government of Nepal, as per its priorities, in its endeavours for rapid economic growth and development, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

“We will extend full cooperation to Nepal in attaining political stability and development,” Swaraj said during her breakfast meeting with Prachanda.

“We discussed about the situation emerging after the conclusion of the elections and the preparation for formation of new government,” said Prachanda, whose party formed Left Alliance with CPN-UML during the recently held elections in Nepal.

“I told Swaraj that we want political stability and development for which we need cooperation from the neighbours. Swaraj assured that India will extend full cooperation to Nepal in her efforts towards attaining political stability and development,” Prachanda said.

The Maoist chief said Swaraj was curious to know about the political developments taking place in Nepal.

“The talks we had were very positive and constructive. She also congratulated the Left Alliance for gaining victory during the recently concluded elections,” he said.

“EAM @SushmaSwaraj met with Chairman CPN (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda of #Nepal and complemented him on his party’s performance in the recent elections. The two leaders discussed steps to further deepen our unique India- Nepal bilateral relations,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

During her courtesy call on Nepal Prime Minister Deuba, she congratulated him on the successful conduct of the recent elections.

“Discussions focused on enhancing our bilateral cooperation to take our age-old and historical partnership forward,” Kumar said.

During her talks with Bhandari, Swaraj congratulated her on the successful conduct of election in Nepal.

“Exchange of views on advancing our multi-dimensional relationship took place,” Kumar said.

Swaraj on Friday held one-on-one talks with CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli, who is likely to be the next prime minister, and prominent leaders of Madhesi parties.

Swaraj congratulated Oli for the victory of the Left Alliance in the recently concluded elections and expressed willingness to work with the new government.

Oli said his party is eager to work in collaboration with neighbouring countries and would forge partnership with India to move forward the country towards the path of economic prosperity, according to CPN-UML sources.

The clear victory to the Left alliance — CPN-UML led by Oli and the CPN-Maoist led by Prachanda — was not seen as a positive development for India given that Oli had publicly criticised New Delhi for interfering in Nepal’s internal matters and accused it of toppling his government last year.

Swaraj left for home in the afternoon.

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