Eminent Persons Group meeting on Nepal-India Relations agree to review past treaties

KATHMANDU, July 5 (Xinhua)–The first-ever meeting of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations (EPG-NIR) ended here on Tuesday with a decision for reviewing, adjusting and updating various bilateral treaties.

“Both the sides agreed to review and update the agreements and treaties signed in the past including the Peace and Friendship Treaty signed in 1950,” EPG Coordinator of the Nepalese side Dr Bhes Bahadur Thapa told reporters.

The EPG-NIR meeting decided to review and update existing treaties and agreements relating to security, society, economy, connectivity, trade, transit, border management and water resources, the EPG members said.

“This first meeting was exploratory in nature, which has set the agenda for future discussions. We had open and frank discussions on various issues between our two countries including reviewing the Peace and Friendship Treaty,” EPG Coordinator from the Indian side senior BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari told reporters.

Jayant Prasad, the EPG member from the Indian side, said that the two-day meeting has finalized the agendas for upcoming meetings into five categories — political issues, government to government relation, social and cultural relation, economic exchange and development cooperation.

The next EPG-INR meeting is expected to be held after three months in India.

The EPG-NIR is mandated to come up with a joint comprehensive report within next two years containing recommendations for both governments on reviewing past treaties and agreements and improve bilateral relations in the changed context.

The purpose of the group, consisting of four members each from Nepal and India, is to recommend measures to both governments to expand and consolidate relations.

Initially, Nepal and India agreed to form such a body during Former Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s visit to India in 2011 to recommend suggestions on revising bilateral treaties and agreements.

The two countries formally agreed to set up the body during the third Joint Commission Meeting between Nepal and India held in July 2014 in Kathmandu.

The two governments announced the formation of the body in February this year during a state visit of Nepalese Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli to India

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