Sushma Swaraj to visit Nepal next month
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Nepal next month to participate in a meeting of BIMSTEC foreign ministers that will finalise the date for the grouping’s fourth summit.Updated: Jul 05, 2017 00:13 IST
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Nepal next month to participate in the BIMSTEC foreign ministers meeting to be held in Kathmandu during August 10-11.
Swaraj confirmed her participation in the meet during talks with her Nepalese counterpart Krishna Bahadur Mahara in New Delhi on Monday. Nepal is the current chair of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) and will convene the grouping’s fourth summit in Kathmandu later this year.
“I had a very productive and fruitful meeting with Swaraj,” Mahara said in Kathmandu on Tuesday on his return from New Delhi. “She congratulated us for holding successful local elections in Nepal.”
Mahara and Swaraj noted that bilateral relations were making steady progress and had been reinforced by the exchange of visits at various levels, a statement from the Nepalese side said. Both leaders reviewed and discussed a wide range of matters, including development cooperation, trade and transit, cross-border infrastructure and hydropower projects.
India has been pushing BIMSETIC - whose other members are Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Bhutan - as Pakistan is not a member of the regional bloc. Differences between India and Pakistan have impeded progress under the umbrella of the Saarc grouping.
The meeting of the BIMSTEC foreign ministers is expected to finalise the date for the fourth summit and to assess and review progress made by the grouping. It will also chart the future course of the organisation whose secretariat is in the Bangladesh capital.
Established on June 6, 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration, BIMSTEC comprises seven states in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.