External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today called on Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest. Swaraj, who arrived here on a two-day visit to participate in the 15th ministerial meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), met Deuba at his official residence in Baluwatar. This is the first meeting between the two leaders since Deuba took over as Nepal Prime Minister in a power-sharing deal in June. During the meeting, the duo discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, Republica newspaper quoted a source close to Deuba as saying. "Both sides also reiterated their commitment to deepen the friendly relationship between the two countries," the source said. Swaraj said that she was looking forward to welcoming Deuba in India, the paper said. Deuba is set to embark on a five-day official visit to India from August 23. Swaraj is also scheduled to call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari. Swaraj's visit comes as India is pushing for a larger role for BIMSTEC, an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia. The member countries of BIMSTEC are India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
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