Saturday, March 6, 2021

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Swaraj Builds On India-Nepal Relations By Visiting Kathmandu

India-Nepal relations seem to be on a path of improvement with a surprise visit from Indian MEA Sushma Swaraj to Nepal. India-Nepal relations that had seen a sour turn post the formation of the new constitution of Nepal may soon see a positive turn. Healthy India-Nepal relations are vital for both the nations.

Nepal mostly depends on India for its daily needs as well as trade and it is thus essential for it to maintain positive relations with the neighbour. For India, on the other hand, improving relations with Nepal is important to minimise the growing influence of China on the Nepalese administration. Swaraj’s visit to Nepal was the first from a foreign guest following the completion of Nepal’s three levels of elections. Swaraj flew to Kathmandu and offered her congratulations to the Left Alliance for the victory in the national level polls. This was a first move by an Indian dignitary to improve India-Nepal relations.

Read: India’s Foreign Relations with SAARC Under Pressure After Chinese Entry

Swaraj Assured Oli Of Supporting India-Nepal Relations

Soon after arriving in Kathmandu, Sushma Swaraj met with K P Oli of CPN-UML and discussed the concerns regarding the bilateral India-Nepal relations. She also conveyed a message sent to Oli by Indian PM Narendra Modi. CPN-UML leaders confirmed that Swaraj has assured Oli of India’s dedication towards providing support to the new Nepalese government. Oli too responded by assuring Swaraj that he is ready to mend past relations and start afresh with proper cooperation. Swaraj’s visit to Nepal put rumours to rest regarding New Delhi being unhappy with Left Alliance’s victory over fears of it improving China’s influence on the Nepalese administration.

India-Nepal relations had in 2015 hit a low point under Oli’s tenure as the prime minister when India had expressed concerns over Nepal’s new constitution. Oli had further gone ahead to sign a treaty with China for trade thereby putting an end to India’s dominance over the Nepalese markets.

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