Eminent Persons Group holding meeting next week

Kathmandu, March 30

The Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India relations is convening its third meeting here next week.

The EPG meeting is being held on April 5 and 6 for which Indian members are due to arrive in Kathmandu on April 4, according to Rajan Bhattarai, an EPG member from the Nepali side.

Initially, the meeting was supposed to be held in December last year, but was put off at least twice.

The first time, it was planned for Pokhara from December 22 to 23, but later canceled due to the announcement of state-assembly elections in various states of India. The meeting was again rescheduled for Kathmandu from March 18 to 19, but it couldn’t take place after Indian side conveyed its inability to be present at the eleventh hour.

EPG, a joint mechanism with four members each from Nepal and India, was formed in February to look over existing bilateral treaties and agreements and evaluate if they need any revision.

The agenda of the meeting include reviewing the Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950, existing trade regime, and cooperation in sharing water resources, according to Bhattarai. He further said at least one meeting of the body had to be convened right after the third meeting to make up for the delay and meet time schedules.

As per the understanding, the EPG meet takes place every three months in Nepal and India, alternatively. The first EPG meeting was held in Kathmandu in July, and the second meeting in New Delhi from October 4 to 5, 2016.