Meetings with India on track despite dip in tiesDespite a dip in bilateral relations, particularly since Nepal’s decision to recall its ambassador to New Delhi, planned meetings and engagements with India are on track.
Despite a dip in bilateral relations, particularly since Nepal’s decision to recall its ambassador to New Delhi, planned meetings and engagements with India are on track.
After deterioration in ties since September, when India acted against the promulgation of the new constitution in Nepal, bilateral relations were improving until the KP Sharma Oli government cancelled the President’s visit to India at the last moment.
The CPN-UML’s perception that Delhi made a failed bid to topple the regime in Kathmandu has not led the ruling coalition to cancel bilateral consultations.
All the meetings with India are on course to take place on schedule, said a Foreign Ministry official who is knowledgeable about India affairs. During the six-month long blockade, meetings with India were postponed or did not take place on time.
Senior officials from the ministries of water resource are meeting in May-end to discuss issues including the proposed Koshi High Dam project, inundation in bordering areas in the Tarai due to embankments and compensation for the Koshi and Gandak victims.
Works for repairing and installing border pillars are also going on smoothly. According to a Nepali official, the date for the pending meetings of energy secretaries and the joint commission on water resources will be fixed soon.
“All the planned meetings with India will take place gradually,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tara Pokhrel. Another meeting that deals with procurement of arms and ammunition from India, which was postponed during the blockade, is taking place soon. The mechanism led by joint-secretaries of the respective foreign ministries will look after military ties and bilateral security issues.
Other talks planned for near future are home secretary-level meeting, followed by a joint-secretary level discussion. The Indian side had been pressing Nepal to hold the meetings but Nepal had refused the call amid tensions at the border. Now the Nepali side is said to be positive about the meetings.
Officials said that India is keen to engage in power generation in energy-starved Nepal after an agreement on cross-border transmission line.
Of late, the Indian side has proposed constructing a high-voltage sub-station for the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar cross-border transmission line in Nepal. With the facility, Nepal can import 1,000 megawatt electricity from India.