Sushma Swaraj calls on Prachanda in Nepal

Kathmandu, Central Development Region, NepalUpdated: Feb 02, 2018, 06:56 AM IST

File photo. Photograph:(ANI)

External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj met former Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal here on Friday.

The minister, who reached Kathmandu on Thursday, met Chairman of CPN-UML K.P Sharma Oli in her first engagement and congratulated him on his party`s victory in the recent elections. "The two held wide ranging discussions on ways to take the special relationship between India and Nepal forward," EAM spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had tweeted.

Swaraj is on a two-day official visit to Nepal in an effort to reach out to the country`s political leadership ahead of the formation of a new government by a Communist alliance.

This is Swaraj`s seventh visit to Nepal since assuming office in May 2014. However this is her first visit to Nepal after the three-tier elections ended here in December.

The timing of the visit comes at a time when India wants to improve its relations with Oli and his party, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) (CPN-UML).

Relations between the two sides are often described as "patchy", where Oli criticised India`s constant hindrance over Nepal`s new constitution in 2015, which did not recognise the rights of the Madhesis.

On January 21, Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Oli and congratulated him in advance on his win in the just-concluded Nepal elections and invited each other to visit their respective countries.