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Vaccine procurement, border issue and economic partnership key agendas of FM’s India visit

Vaccine procurement, border issue and economic partnership key agendas of FM’s India visit

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali. (File photo/Khabarhub)

KATHMANDU: The 6th meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission to be held in the Indian capital, New Delhi, on January 14-15 is expected to focus on the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine, long-stalled efforts for resolving border issues, and bilateral economic partnership.

It is anticipated that all-out efforts would be made to explore potential ways for further consolidating the Nepal-India relations and contributing to the economic growth rate of the country. Efforts would also be made to expand connectivity through waterways, highways, and airways as well as for devising all possible efforts for further improving mutual partnership and collaborative relations.

The visit of Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali is expected to be successful in making Nepal-India relations cordial, which had been slightly soured after Nepal published a new political and administrative map including the territory of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani.

The foreign minister’s upcoming visit would also be fruitful in perpetuating the high-level bilateral visit which has been stalled after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, the visits of the Indian intelligence chief, army chief and the foreign secretary had played a significant role in bringing back Nepal and India bilateral relations to normalcy.

Foreign Minister Gyawali is embarking on a visit to New Delhi as the first high-level visit since the Indian Foreign Minister visited Nepal 17 months ago.

The joint commission meeting will review the progress of the memorandum of understanding and agreements made in the fifth meeting held in Kathmandu and also make a thorough discussion on overall multi-dimensional relations.

The meeting is also scheduled to dwell on political relations, border and security, economic cooperation and infrastructure, trade and transportation, energy and water resource, and cultural ties.

The meeting will also focus on institutionalizing the agreements reached between the two countries at the prime minister’s level, developing and implementing plans to realize them in an accelerated manner, and charting out a roadmap for 21st century Nepal-India relations.

Matters relating to the report of the Nepal-India eminent persons group and the reality of the state of India-assisted development projects in Nepal will be discussed during the meeting.

Another important agenda of the meeting is to bring into fruition the three-decades-old Pancheswar Project and following up on the Raxaul-Kathmandu railways, internal waterway, and partnership in the agriculture sector that had features in the fifth meeting.

Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali will visit India from 14 to 16 January 2021 for the Sixth Meeting of Nepal-India Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission Meeting will discuss the whole gamut of Nepal-India bilateral relations, including trade, transit, energy, boundary, COVID-19 cooperation, infrastructure, connectivity, investment, agriculture, tourism, culture, among others, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

While in New Delhi, the Foreign Minister will also meet with the high-level dignitaries of India.

The Nepali delegation will consist of Ambassador of Nepal to India Nilamber Acharya, Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal, Health Secretary Laxmi Aryal, and other senior officials of the Government.

Minister Gyawali is scheduled to return home on 16 January.

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