Crucial EPG meeting on June 1-3 in Kathmandu

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 19, 2018-

The ninth meeting of Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India relations is taking place in Kathmandu on June 1-3. The meet is said to work on the final report before the group’s tenure ends on July 4.

Both the sides are doing final homework to arrive at consensus on all the issues the EPG is mandated to discuss and provide suggestions on to both the governments.

“We’re trying to make the meeting our last,” said Rajan Bhattarai, a Nepali member of the group. The EPG is tasked with providing suggestions after reviewing all the past accords and treaties including the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the two countries.

Both the sides will be exchanging texts on several issues in order to prepare a single joint report acceptable to both the sides. EPG members have shared views on matters related to water resources, trade and transit, border management, bilateral treaties, people-to-people contact and cultural relations.

If the EPG is able to prepare a joint report, the two governments will be pressed to implement their suggestions, observers say.

“We’re in touch with the Indian side to finalise the report without dispute. The Indian side is also positive about it,” said Bhattarai.

There is a high chance of the group preparing a single joint report, said Bhattarai, adding that almost all the issues had already been sorted. “Now some minor issues need solution,” he added.

He said there has been no proposal from either side on extending the term and mandate of the panel. At the last meeting held in New Delhi, both the sides exchanged the drafts prepared for submitting to their respective governments. Both the sides had agreed for additional meetings to give a final shape to the report—a blueprint for resetting Nepal-India relations in the changed context.

Published: 19-05-2018 07:35

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