Nepal-India EPG meet to begin from Saturday

Kathmandu, October 4

The fifth meeting of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations is being held here on Saturday and Sunday.

According to Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, who coordinates the EPG from the Nepali side, the upcoming meeting is a continuity of the dialogue between the two sides, where deliberations will be held on bilateral issues related to the 1950 treaty, trade and transit, water resources, and borde disputes, among others.

He said the Nepali side was holding internal consultations on various issues to be presented during the meeting and were yet to be finalised. “There are basically no new agenda. This meeting will deliberate on the same regular issues related to Nepal-India relations,” he said.

Among other major issues, the meeting will also dwell on ways to curb the misuse of open border between the two countries. “We are holding internal talks on this issue, focusing on how to manage and regulate the border without causing any inconvenience to the people, and on the basis of international norms and depth of Nepal-India relations,” said Thapa. “We will make a presentation at the meeting as per the outcome of our internal consultations.”

All EPG members will be present at the Kathmandu meeting except for former Indian envoy to Nepal Jayant Prasad, who has not yet confirmed his participation due to health issues. “He is most likely not coming for this meeting,” said Secretary of EPG Secretariat Yadav Khanal.

Nepali EPG members include Thapa, former chief commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Surya Nath Upadhyay, former law minister Nilambar Acharya and CPN-UML lawmaker Rajan Bhattarai. The Indian EPG members are Prasad, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari, former vice-chancellor of Sikkim University Mahendra Lama and VIF senior fellow BC Upreti.