Sushma Swaraj's two-day visit, which comes ahead of the formation of a new government by a Communist alliance which is expected to be headed by CPN-UML chief and former prime minister K P Oli, is also seen as part of India's efforts to improve relations with the new regime.
"The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to hold discussions with political leaders of Nepal on issues of mutual interest, and to advance age-old, special ties of friendship between India and Nepal," the ministry said in a release.
It further said that the visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level political exchanges between India and Nepal, and reflects the expanding bilateral partnership and the importance that the two countries attach to further strengthening it across diverse sectors.
Sushma Swaraj's visit also comes at a time when China is seen as trying to spread its influence in Nepal. In September last year, China and Nepal agreed to start technical work to build a cross-border railway link via Tibet to boost connectivity. Nepal also recently ended India's monopoly over internet services in the country and joined hands with China to offer internet services to its citizens. However, a CPN-UML leader said that the new government won't be "anti-India" or "pro-China" and that it would maintain good relations with both countries.
The clear victory to the Left alliance -- CPN-UML led by Mr Oli and the CPN-Maoist led by former premier Prachanda -- was not seen as a positive development for India given that Mr Oli had publicly criticised New Delhi for interfering in Nepal's internal matters and accused it of toppling his government last year.
Sushma Swaraj will be the first senior Indian minister to visit Nepal after the conclusion of elections to local bodies, provincial assemblies and federal Parliament.
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