External Affairs Sushma Swaraj held talks on Thursday night with Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist Chairman KP Sharma Oli to take the "special" relations between India and Nepal forward.
The talks with Mr Oli was her first engagement with leaders of as the Left alliance in Nepal which is set to form a new government in the Himalayan republic.
Swaraj congratulated Oli on his party's victory in the recent elections and the two leaders held "wide ranging discussions on ways to take the special relationship forward", Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Ravish Kumar said in a tweet.
Diplomatic sources said Swaraj is carrying a “special message” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the leaders of the Left alliance, which won a majority in the recent elections in the country.
Last month Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to Oli wherein both the leaders had invited each other for a visit.
Swaraj is the first senior Indian minister to visit Nepal after the conclusion of elections to local bodies, provincial assemblies and federal Parliament. Swaraj arrived here this afternoon, accompanied by Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhle, Kumar and other officials. She went straight from airport to Soaltee Crowne Plaza hotel where Oli hosted a dinner in her honour. Swaraj is also scheduled to meet the Madhesi leaders Thursday night.
On Friday, she is scheduled to have a breakfast meeting with CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, after which she will call on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and outgoing Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and hold discussions on matters of mutual interest, according to a release issued by Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On Monday, the External Affairs Ministry in a release had said that Swaraj’s visit would provide an opportunity to hold discussions with political leaders of Nepal to advance age-old, special ties of friendship between India and Nepal.
The MEA had said stated that Swaraj’s visit was in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level political exchanges between India and Nepal, and reflected the expanding bilateral partnership and the importance that the two countries attached to further strengthening it across diverse sectors.
India is a major development partner of Nepal.