Kathmandu: Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali left for New Delhi on Friday to attend the funeral of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who died a day earlier, an official statement confirmed here.

Nepal's top leadership including Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli have paid their tributes to the
the veteran leader who also made significant contribution in advancing Nepal-India ties during his term in office.

In his condolence message, Oli said: "I am deeply shocked to learn that former prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee has passed away in New Delhi. On behalf of the government and people of Nepal and my own, I extend respect to late Vajpayee."

India and the world lost a towering political figure and Nepal, a true friend and well-wisher, Oli said, adding that his contribution to strengthening Nepal-India relations will be remembered forever.

Vajpayee, 93, died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Thursday.

His funeral procession will begin at 1 p.m. and the last rites will be performed at 4 p.m. at Smriti Sthal.