Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting starts in New DelhiForeign Minister Gyawali and his Indian counterpart Jaishankar are leading their delegations.
The Sixth Meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission has started in the Indian capital New Delhi.
Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali and his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar are leading their respective delegations at the sixth session of the Joint Commission, which is the highest level mechanism between the two countries to look after the entire gamut of Nepal-India bilateral relations.
Ahead of the Joint Commission meet, Gyawali and Jaishankar held a restricted meeting at Hyderabad House where crucial issues like cooperation on Covid-19 vaccine and boundary among others were discussed, according to a Nepali diplomat in Delhi.
Foreign Minister Gyawali was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Poudyal and Nepal’s Ambassador to India Nilamber Acharya.
Likewise, External Affairs Minister Jaishanker was accompanied by Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and India’s Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra.
“The restricted meeting was part of the to-be-followed Joint Commission meeting,” the official told the Post from Delhi over the phone.
Gyawali arrived in New Delhi on Thursday to participate in the meeting. Though the border row is high on Nepal’s agenda, India on Thursday had hinted that talks on the issue are unlikely.
Just as Gyawali landed in Delhi, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that the Joint Commission and border issue are two different things.
Gyawali, however, had told the Post that the border issue too falls under the Joint Commission.
Before the Joint Commission meeting, Gyawali and Jaishankar held a one-on-one bilateral talk. Details of the meeting were not immediately available.
A day before Gyawali embarked on India visit, Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the boundary issue, among other things, will be discussed with India.
“The meeting of the Joint Commission will discuss the whole gamut of Nepal-India relations, including trade, transit, energy, boundary, Covid-19 cooperation, infrastructure, connectivity, investment, agriculture, tourism and culture,” the ministry said in a statement.
Gyawali’s is the first high level visit to Delhi from Kathmandu in over a year which saw bilateral ties hitting a rock bottom. His visit to the southern neighbour also comes at a time when a political crisis is unfolding in Nepal after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli dissolved the House of Representatives on December 20 and declared snap polls.
Oli’s House dissolution move has been challenged in the Supreme Court.