Kathmandu: Describing her three-day visit to Nepal as very successful, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said the two countries have resolved to extend their cooperation in a number of areas to strengthen bilateral ties.
“It was a very successful trip and the results were more than my expectations,” Swaraj said at Tribhuvan International Airport here before leaving for New Delhi. During her visit, Swaraj met Nepal's top leaders including President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. Swaraj also met UCPN-Maoist chief and Leader of Opposition Prachanda.
Swaraj was in Nepal to co-chair the meeting of the Indo-Nepal Joint Commission which was held yesterday after a gap of 23 years and to prepare the ground for the two-day official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from August 3 -- the first visit by an Indian Premier in over 17 years.
The late Prime Minister I K Gujral had visited Nepal in 1997.
During the visit, India told Nepal that the new Indian government is very keen to impart “renewed momentum” to their multifaceted bilateral ties even as the two countries decided to step up cooperation in key areas of defence, security, trade and and hydro power.
The two countries also agreed to “review” and adjust” the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 to reflect the current realties.
The decision was taken at the meeting of the Indo-Nepal Joint Commission co-chaired by Swaraj and her Nepalese counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.
The JC also directed Nepal-India Boundary Working Group to commence field works at the earliest.
The two sides issued a joint statement which said the meeting reviewed the entire gamut of Nepal-India relations and affirmed that the Joint Commission would make an important contribution to strengthen the traditionally warm and close ties between the two countries.
The Nepalese leaders during their meetings with Swaraj expressed their “happiness” and “excitement” over the initiative taken by India to bring new momentum in ties and said they have high expectations from the forthcoming visit of Modi.
Swaraj, who arrived here on Friday, is on on her second stand-alone visit to a neighbouring country after Bangladesh within two months of assuming charge.