Nepal-India JC meeting uncertainThe fourth Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting, scheduled for August 20-22 in New Delhi, has become uncertain due to the impending change of government in Nepal.
The fourth Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting, scheduled for August 20-22 in New Delhi, has become uncertain due to the impending change of government in Nepal.
Based on the understanding between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa and Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Nepal had proposed the date and Indian side was ready to convene the meeting. But the meeting is unlikely to take place on scheduled date due to the political change in Nepal, said Nepali officials.
The commission is a high-level bilateral mechanism that comprehensively reviews Nepal-India relation in the areas of political and security issues, trade and investment cooperation, water resources and power, connectivity, development assistance and education and culture.
Besides reviewing the existing status of the bilateral ties and resolving outstanding issues, the meeting is expected to pave the way for future cooperation. “As the government formation process has just begun it is not possible to hold the meeting on the scheduled date,” said an official.
Foreign Ministers of the two countries will chair the commission meeting. “The fate of the meeting depends on the priority of the new Foreign Minister,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
Dinesh Bhattarai, Foreign Affairs Advisor to former prime minister Sushil Koirala, suggested it would be better to hold the meeting about the substantive preparations by new foreign minister. “It is also better if the meeting is held only after the appointment of ambassador in India,” said Bhattarai.
The meeting of all bilateral mechanisms except the meeting of Home Secretary level has been completed. The meeting of Home Secretary level has been fixed for the first week of September. Nepal wants to hold the commission meeting only after the Home Secretary level meeting.
Meetings of a dozen bilateral mechanisms have taken place in the last two months after the hiatus of one year. The bilateral mechanisms have pushed several pending development and cooperation issues.
The bilateral meetings were affected after the India imposed blockade after the promulgation of constitution in September 2015. Earlier, the meeting of Commission was held in 2014 in Kathmandu after the hiatus of 23 years.