Saturday 22nd June 2024
Saturday 22nd June 2024
गृहपृष्ठPoliticsEnding a long drought of formal dialogues, Nepal, India holding joint committee meeting on bilateral projects

Ending a long drought of formal dialogues, Nepal, India holding joint committee meeting on bilateral projects

Though the committee lacks mandate to go beyond review of bilateral projects, its meeting is interpreted as India’s willingness to resume engagement with Oli-led govt

KATHMANDU- Nepal and India are holding a talk today to review the progress of bilateral economic and development projects, indicating a strategy of India to resume its engagement with the KP Oli-led government.

The virtual meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Project Monitoring Committee scheduled for today also marks an end of long drought of formal dialogues between two countries.

There has not been any formal talk between two sides after Nepal released its own revised map that includes Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura as its part in mid May. Even informal talks have become rare after India in November last year released its map that included Kalapani in its revised map.

The move angered India, which also claims those areas as its own, and led to a diplomatic standoff between two neighbors for over three months.

After a gap of over three months, the two sides have agreed to sit for talks under the mechanism of joint project monitoring mechanism.

However, the mechanism formed in 2016 does not have a mandate beyond reviewing bilateral projects. This committee would not enter into any other issue pertaining to the bilateral relationship, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

“While it’s a regular meeting that does not go beyond discussing bilateral projects, it could be interpreted as a positive development in bilateral relationship against the backdrop of recent tension between two countries,” said a source at the MoFA.

“India could have decided to suspend the meeting under one or another pretext if it was not interested to have talks with Nepal. But, the willingness to sit for the review meeting is an indication that India now wants to resume its policy of engagement with the government of Nepal,” the source added.

The joint monitoring committee meeting led by Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi from Nepal side while Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra is heading Indian committee.

The pre-scheduled talks come two days after Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli held a telephone conversation with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the occasion of Indian Independence Day.

During the conversation at the Prime Ministers level held after four months, Prime Minister Oli congratulated Oli on the occasion of the Independence Day of India as well as India’s election to a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

According to the MoFA’s statement, the two Prime Ministers had also agreed to continue discussions on bilateral matters in the future.

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