Final Nepal-India EPG meeting begins

Kathmandu, June 29

The ninth and final meeting of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations began in Kathmandu today.

The meeting will come up with a report to be submitted to both the governments after it concludes tomorrow, according to EPG members representing Nepal.

The EPG, whose two-year tenure ends in July this year, has been mandated 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.

Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, who coordinates the EPG from the Nepali side, said discussions were going on and the group would reach a conclusion by tomorrow. “This is our last meeting. Things will be known by tomorrow,” he said after the conclusion of today’s meeting.

Minister for Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali had also publicly said some weeks ago that only ‘two issues’ remained to be sorted out.

The eighth meeting, which was focused on finalising the report to be presented to both the governments, had taken place in New Delhi on April 12 and 13. The meetings are held alternatively in Nepal and India.

The body has four members each from Nepal and India. Nepali EPG members include former foreign minister Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, former chief commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Surya Nath Upadhyay, former law minister Nilamber Acharya and leader of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader Rajan Bhattarai.

The Indian EPG members are senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari, former vice-chancellor of Sikkim University Mahendra Lama, former Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad and Vivekananda International Foundation Senior Fellow BC Upreti.