EPG meet ends on positive noteThe fourth meeting of the Nepal-India Eminent Persons Group (EPG) concluded in Dehradun, India on a positive note on Tuesday with deliberations on a wide range of bilateral issues, according to participating members.
The fourth meeting of the Nepal-India Eminent Persons Group (EPG) concluded in Dehradun, India on a positive note on Tuesday with deliberations on a wide range of bilateral issues, according to participating members.
“The meeting has been very positive and cordial. We will continue our discussions in the coming days. The fifth EPG meeting will take place in August in Kathmandu,” said Coordinator of the Nepali side Bhek Bahadur Thapa, without divulging details.
The meeting could not reach any conclusion on any issues it was mandated to recommend for changes, though. As discussions had been ongoing on all issues, it will take time to reach a conclusion on specific issues, the members said. “There are not any new agenda and issues in the meeting. We are deliberating on the same issues that we began in the first meeting,” said Bhagat Singh Koshyari, a member of the Indian team. He said discussion on every issue was going on smoothly, including on the Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950—the main agenda of the meeting.
In the previous meetings, the Indian side had sought genuine and convincing reasons on Nepal’s proposal to revise the treaty. This time round, sources said, the Nepali side reiterated its reasons on why the treaty needs to be reviewed.
Besides, other issues related to trade and transit which are of concerned to Nepal also featured during the discussions. Similarly, according to Nepali team members, Nepal wants to settle some issues related to hydropower development without any delay.
The EPG, however, has not entered into the issues related to borders, including border disputes, which has been one of the challenges facing the two neighbours. In 2014, it was agreed that foreign secretaries of both the countries would sit for resolving the issue. However, there has not been any meeting yet.
According to another member, they are planning to visit the border areas sometime after the next round of meeting to take stock of the situation there.