Although the visit by Indian foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was routine, the time of his visit was very significant. Be it by coincidence or plan, Indian foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was the first high level Indian government official to come here and read the Chinese mood in his interactions with the high-level delegation that had accompanied Nepalese president Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, who held bilateral meeting with Chinese president Xi Jeping recently.
After the meeting with foreign minister Mahendra Pande, Indian foreign secretary held bilateral meetings with officiating foreign secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, who was in the entourage of President Dr. Yadav during his visit of China.
Officiating foreign secretary of Nepal Bairagi led the Nepali team in the talks while the Indian team was led by Indian foreign secretary Subramanian Jayshankar. The Foreign Secretary-level meeting reviewed the agreement signed between Nepal and India in August 2014 during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and during the visit of Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.
The team also discussed the progress made so far in the implementation of the projects of bilateral interest and on issues of regional and global concerns, including the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
Joint secretaries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tara Prasad Pokharel and Ramesh Prasad Khanal, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjeet Rae, senior officials at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, and senior Nepali officials at Nepali Embassy in New Delhi also took part in the bilateral talks.
Along with other bilateral and regional issues, Indian foreign secretary Jaishanker also requested Nepal for its support in its candidacy to the membership of the UN Security Council.
Indian foreign secretary's visit was significant also because UCPN-Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda had recently returned from Beijing after meeting Chinese vice president. Indian foreign secretary Jaishankar, who served in Beijing as Indian ambassador to China, is fluent in Chinese language and can read the mood of China in Nepal.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Indian External Affairs Secretary met President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.
Talking to reporters following the meeting, Minister Pandey said the Indian foreign secretary informed him about India's candidacy in the UNSC and India's expectation of support from Nepal. "In response, I said that Nepal will follow its usual practice in relation to the support in the Security Council election," Minister Pandey said.
The Minister said he also emphasized on the need to set a timetable for implementation of the projects signed between Nepal and India during Indian PM Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Nepal.
Talking to journalists in brief upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, he said the visit is a part of his SAARC entourage and reflects the importance the Indian government and Prime Minister attach to their relations with Nepal.
"I hope to review progress achieved in our bilateral cooperation following the historic visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal last year," the Indian External Affairs Secretary said.
He further said India is committed to strengthen her multifaceted and mutually beneficial relationship with Nepal as part of her “neighborhood first” policy. "We support the aspirations of the people of Nepal for peace, stability and prosperity," he added.
Discussions were to be held regarding the progress on implementation of projects of mutual benefits and bilateral agreements signed during the first Nepal visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. He was received by Joint Secretary of Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prakash Kumar Subedi, Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae and highly-placed officials of Indian Embassy.
Indian foreign secretary issued remarks on his arrival and said, “It is a great pleasure to visit this beautiful city of Kathmandu as part of my SAARC Yatra. My visit reflects the importance our Government and Prime Minister attach to our relations with Nepal. I hope to review progress achieved in our bilateral cooperation following the historic visits of PM Narendra Modi to Nepal last year.”