Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali is scheduled to visit India this month for a meeting with his counterpart S Jaishankar, which aims to boost efforts to normalize bilateral relations by hitting a borderline earlier this year.
Gyawali will be the senior-most Nepali leader after he visited India in May, when Kathmandu released a new political map that included Indian territories. The map was released in response to India opening a strategic route to the Lipulekh border area claimed for Nepal.
After months of fighting, Nepal indicated its intention to reestablish its relations when Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli arrived on telephone on August 15 to exchange greetings with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Independence Day .
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Samant Goel, Indian Army Chief General MM Narwane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla prepared back-to-back visits to Nepal for Gyawali’s visit to India in late December, which people are familiar with The developments in New Delhi and Kathmandu were told on condition of anonymity.
Foreign Minister Gyawali is expected to visit New Delhi to preside over the Indo-Nepal Joint Commission meeting. The dates are yet to be announced, ”said one of the people mentioned above.
During Shringla’s visit to Nepal last month, the two sides underscored the importance of respecting each other’s sensitivity and handling the border issue under appropriate bilateral mechanisms, while at the same time advancing cooperation on connectivity and development projects .
The Joint Commission meeting is expected to be preceded by consultations between officials of both sides on a range of issues including trade and transit, and water resources.
Nepal’s Ministry of Commerce spokesman Prakash Dahal quoted The Kathmandu Post as saying that the two sides were close to amending the bilateral transit treaty and finalizing the agreement on railway services. Nepal is also keen on concessions for its agricultural products and for the trans-shipment of goods shipped from third countries through India.
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