22 August 2019, Kathmandu
The Fifth Meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission was successfully concluded yesterday in Kathmandu. The Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and his Indian counterpart Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of India leading their respective delegations co-chaired the meeting at Hotel Yak and Yeti, Kathmandu. The Minister of External Affairs of India paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli. During the call on, various issues of mutual interests were discussed. The External Affairs Minister of India is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on to President Bidya Devi Bhandari today morning. During the meeting, both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations with specific focus on the areas of connectivity and economic partnership; trade and transit; power and water resources sectors; culture, and education. The Joint Commission expressed happiness over the momentum generated in the overall aspects of Nepal-India relations following the exchange of high-level visits in the past two years. Similarly, views were exchanged on the review of Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 and submission of report of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations (EPG-NIR).
The Joint Commission also expressed happiness at the progress made in the bilateral projects, such as Motihari- Amlekhgunj Petroleum Products Pipeline, four segments of Hulaki Roads, and post-earthquake reconstruction of private housing in Nuwakot and Gorkha districts which have been completed. They expressed happiness over progress made in Jayanagar-Janakpur and Jogbani-Biratnagar sections of cross-border railway projects and Integrated Check Post in Biratnagar. The Joint Commission agreed to expedite the early completion of remaining agreed projects. The commission expressed satisfaction over progress in three new areas agreed during the visit of Prime Minister Oli to India in April 2018, namely, Raxaul-Kathmandu Electrified Rail Line, Inland Waterways and New Partnership in Agriculture. Both sides agreed to an early conclusion of the review of treaties and agreements related to the trade, transit and rail services. They also agreed to continue up gradation and maintenance of infrastructure and logistic facilities at major border crossing-points for facilitating trade and transit between the two countries.
The Joint Commission also agreed to take action on the recommendations made by a joint team comprising officials from both side who had visited twice the inundation prone areas along Nepal-India border and continue monitoring of the inundation prone areas. The two Ministers emphasized the importance of tourism in socio-economic development and agreed to enhance their cooperation in tourism sector, particularly in the context of Visit Nepal Year 2020. On Nepal’s request for additional air entry routes to Nepal, it was stated that discussion which are underway between the civil aviation authorities of the two countries would yield positive results.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Food Safety and Standards between Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) of Nepal and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was signed and exchanged in the presence of the two Ministers. During the meeting, two cheques for Terai Roads Project and Post-earthquake Reconstruction Project were also handed over by Ambassador of India to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri, to Mr. Sushil Gyawali, CEO of National Reconstruction Authority and Mr. Devendra Regmi, Secretary, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport respectively. The Minister for Foreign Affairs also hosted a dinner in honour of the External Affairs Minister of India and the members of his delegation. The External Affairs Minister of India is scheduled to depart for New Delhi today.