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Joint report, term on Kathmandu meet agenda

  • EPG tenure ends july 4
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Nepal-India Eminent Persons Group meets on Friday and Saturday

Jun 26, 2018- As the two-year mandate of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India relations expires on July 4, Kathmandu is hosting a crucial meeting of the group on Friday and Saturday to discuss two key issues concerning the EPG.

A likely decision of the group will be whether this meeting is the last or a brief tenure extension is sought. The meeting is also expected to take a call if there will be a joint report or separate reports prepared by each side.

If the EPG comes up with a single report, it will be submitted to the governments of Nepal and India jointly. If there are two reports, due to a lack of consensus on some vital issues, then the groups will submit their report to the respective governments.

“As of now we are firm on submitting one joint report by July 4,” said Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, who leads the Nepal side of the EPG, adding that the meeting would decide whether to seek a tenure extension.

The Nepali side is pushing the Indian side to make this Kathmandu meeting the last. The Indian side is also positive about it but cites some technical reasons to seek more time for consensus on some contentious issues.

“Based on the negotiations of the past two years, we hopefully will reach an agreement on a single joint report,” said Thapa. In case the Indian side agrees to bring out a single report, the Nepali side will also be ready for a brief tenure extension for the same, he added. The upcoming meeting is said to work on the final report.

Both sides are making final preparations to arrive at consensus on all issues the EPG is mandated to discuss and provide suggestions on. The EPG is tasked with reviewing all the past accords and treaties including the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the two countries.

At the meeting held last in New Delhi, both the sides exchanged the drafts prepared for submission to their respective governments.

Published: 26-06-2018 08:18

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