Nepal-India meetings, engagements stalled

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu
Foreign Ministry officials say the government’s current priority is resuming the supplies of fuel, essential goods and medicines from India

Nov 9, 2015-Almost all planned bilateral meetings and engagements with India have stalled since the last two months. And the officials blame the Indian border blockade for this.

More than any other countries, Nepal has the highest number of bilateral engagements with India.

 Both sides had scheduled a secretarial level meeting of Inter-governmental Committee (IGC) to resolve the trade and transit issues in September. The meeting did not take place.  The meeting was to be followed by the joint secretarial level meeting.

Similarly, the meeting of Joint Committee on Water Resources (JCWR) which was to convene after the joint secretarial level meeting was also cancelled after the blockade The meeting was expected to take up various pending water resources related issues.

Another important Nepal- India Bilateral Consultative Group on Security Issues was also cancelled.

The meeting, which was due to take place in India, was held highly as it was supposed to deal with import of military weapons and their storage, and other security related issues..  

“The dates for the meetings in India were already fixed, but it was cancelled due to unusual situation that took place in the border,” said the officials at the Foreign Ministry.

The Indian side has not made any calls to reschedule these meetings. Officials said the Nepali side is also unwilling to participate or host these meetings for the time being.

“Our immediate priority is resumption of supplies of fuel, essential goods and medicines. For us, any of these meetings do not make any sense until we resolve the standoff with India,” said one official.

Nepal and India had also planned to hold a meeting of Pancheshwor Multipurpose Project. It too was stalled.

Officials said that Nepal is also unsure about its participation in the upcoming third meeting of Nepal-India Joint Commission, the highest bilateral mechanism between the two countries.

Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had proposed hosting the meeting in India in December in her meeting with her Nepali counterpart Kamal Thapa recently.

Published: 09-11-2015 08:18

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