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‘EPG report will be implemented at any cost’

- SURESH RAJ NEUPANE, Kathmandu

Aug 20, 2018-

Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali said the differences expressed over the joint report prepared by Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) on Nepal-India relations will have no effect against the desire of nation’s current political leadership to implement it.

Speaking to the Post in the Indian capital New Delhi during his visit here to represent Nepal in the funeral ceremony of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Minister Gyawali said the report would be implemented at any cost. “The decision to set up the EPG was made at the highest level. So we are confident on the implementation of the report,” he said. Government bodies and bureaucracy might have some reservations towards the report, Gyawali said, but the biggest thing is the will of the leadership on both sides. “The current Indian political leadership is committed to take Nepal-India relations to new heights by addressing the thorny issues raised by the Nepali side,” he added.

The EPG was tasked with making recommendations on reviewing various treaties and agreements, including 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship, between the two countries.

The ninth meeting of the EPG that concluded in Kathmandu on June 30 had prepared a joint report to be submitted to the prime ministers of Nepal and India. The two-year tenure of the EPG ended on July 4.

The single report was drafted after both sides agreed to replace the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship by a new one—to regulate the Nepal-India border by making people produce identity cards while crossing over to either side, and to jointly tackle common challenges in areas of combating terrorism, extremism, fake-currency and all kinds of trafficking, among other bilateral issues.

The joint EPG report was to be submitted first to Indian PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi and then to PM KP Sharma Oli in Kathmandu. But the EPG has yet to submit the report to Modi because of his hectic schedule.

Published: 20-08-2018 08:17

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