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Visit to Nepal more successful than expected: Swaraj

Press Trust of India  |  Kathmandu 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today described her three-day visit to Nepal as "very successful" during which the two neighbours agreed to finalise the text of a power trade deal and "review and adjust" a crucial treaty of 1950 to reflect the current realities.

"I am highly satisfied with my visit to Nepal and the visit was more successful than expected," Swaraj said talking briefly to media persons at the Tribhuvan International Airport here today.

"I had come here with high expectations and aspirations and the visit turned to be much more successful than I had expected earlier," Swaraj said.

"I have already said that the visit would strengthen Nepal-India relations and we have prepared a full roadmap for the purpose," she said.

Swaraj said both sides removed hurdles and agreed to step up cooperation in a number of key areas.

During her visit, the External Affairs Minister 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 this morning called on Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam, who is also the acting chairman of the CPN-UML, which is a constituent of the ruling coalition.

Swaraj was in Nepal to co-chair the meeting of the Indo-Nepal Joint Commission (JC) 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.

"We have agreed on 26 points," Swaraj said mentioning about the 26 point joint communique issued at the conclusion of the Nepal-India Joint Commission Meeting.

"The bond of friendship will be further consolidated in the days ahead," she said.

She also performed prayers at the revered Hindu temple Pashupatinath this morning amid tight security.

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.

First Published: Sun, July 27 2014. 17:00 IST