Transfer of power in India always by ballot, not bullet: Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj and Sher Bahadur Deuba

Sushma Swaraj and Sher Bahadur Deuba

Nepal is the current Chair of the regional grouping and the Foreign/ External Affairs Ministers of the member states failed to finalise the date of the fourth BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Nepal later this year.They agreed to fix it through dialogue and consensus amongst the member nations.

Sushma Swaraj, according to Bhattarai, told Deuba that India is all set to welcome Deuba in New Delhi.

Now serving as ambassador to France, Islam was appointed to the role for a term of three years at the 15th BIMSTEC foreign ministers' meeting held in Kathmandu on Friday. The one-day meet is being hosted by Kathmandu. This will be his maiden foreign visit since taking over in June as part of a power-sharing agreement.

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After the over five-month economic blockade on the Nepal-India border in 2015, ties between the two neighbors had reached a low ebb. There is now understanding that both sides will take ties to a new height.

The visit by Ms. Swaraj is significant as it comes in the midst of the ongoing India-China stand-off over the Doklam plateau, and amidst reports that Nepal is under pressure to take sides in the stand-off.

Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba, Speaker Onsari Gharti, Former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Indian Ambassador Manjiv Singh Puri, Sadguru, Actress Manisha Kiorala, senior leaders, officials and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion. "The two sides discussed ways to enhance cultural linkages and people to people contact between our two countries", India's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a statement. Progress in the reconstruction activities and cooperation on hydro power sector also came up for discussion.

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Ministers agreed to prioritize sector-wise cooperation especially on trade, connectivity, energy, disaster management, technology, poverty alleviation and countering terrorism and violent extremism and speedy implementation of the pledges and commitments already made.

In the evening, Swaraj attended the inaugural session of the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting.

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