EPG on Nepal-India Relations holds maiden meeting

KATHMANDU: The first meeting of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations (EPG-NIR) began in Kathmandu on Monday.

The two-day meeting would finalise the body’s agenda, time frame, code for its members, as well as working procedures.

Opening of the first meeting of Eminent Persons' Group, Nepal-India Relations (EPG-NIR) Kathmandu. pic.twitter.com/QOPxNOvVb6

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa inaugurated the opening session this morning. The inaugural would be followed by an exclusive close-door discussion by its eight members.

In his inaugural speech, Thapa expressed his confidence that the meeting would contribute to strengthen the historical bilateral relations which was established at the people-to-people level.

Similarly, coordinator of the EPG from India, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, said that the EPG would review bilateral ties.

Koshyari further said that India always wanted to see political stability and progress in Nepal as it always takes Nepal as a good neighbour.

Coordinator of the EPG from Nepal, Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, said the EPG was assigned a great responsibility from the governments of both countries.

Accordingly, agendas would be prepared, discussed and reviewed with proper consultations, he added.

The body will come up with a joint report containing recommendations for both the governments on how to improve bilateral relations in the changed context.

The EPG has been given two years to come up with a comprehensive report on anything that needs to be updated, adjusted or amended in all exiting bilateral treaties, agreements, understandings, including the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950. It is said that its tenure would be counted from its first meeting (which began today).

Formation of EPG was decided upon Nepal’s proposal during the third Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting in July 2014. The body, however, got its final shape only after both countries announced names of EPG members during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s India visit in February.

(With inputs from the Rastriya Samachar Samiti)