The Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar arrived in Kathmandu on August 21, 2019 to attend the Fifth Meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission.
The Indian External Affairs Minister was welcomed by Nepal’s Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi and Nepal Ambassador to India Nilamber Acharya at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Jaishankar was appointed as India’s External Affairs Minister after the sudden demise of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The MoFA informed that both the countries External Affairs Ministers- Nepal’s Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and India’s Jaishankar co-chaired the Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting.
The two-day meeting will review bilateral relations, economic cooperation, energy, culture and education, trade and transit and water resources informed the Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Starting on August 21, 2019, the Nepal-India Joint Commission began with opening remarks by the two countries representatives at the Hotel Yak and Yeti in Kathmandu.
During the meeting, the India delegation presented a cheque worth NPR 2.45 billion to Nepal as reimbursement to the Nepal Government for housing reconstruction in Nuwakot and Gorkha districts.
Besides, the Indian side also gave a cheque worth INR 80.71 crore to Nepal, as part of its commitment to providing INR 500 crore towards strengthening road infrastructure in the Nepal’s Terai Region.
A Memorandum of understanding (MoU) on food safety and standards was also signed between the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Nepal Department of Food Technology and Quality Control.
The meeting also aims to fast-track past agreements signed by both nations.
After the meeting, Jaishankar made the following tweet.
Productive discussions with FM @PradeepgyawaliK at the 5th #IndiaNepal Joint Commission Meeting. Comprehensively reviewed our bilateral relations and identified priority areas for cooperation. pic.twitter.com/y0UlTqlaPi
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) August 21, 2019
“Productive discussions with FM @PradeepgyawaliK at the 5th #IndiaNepal Joint Commission Meeting. Comprehensively reviewed our bilateral relations and identified priority areas for cooperation,” said Jaishankar.
On the day Jaishankar arrived in Kathmandu, he payed a visit to PM Oli at his official residence in Baluwatar in the afternoon.
During their talks, Oli told Jaishankar that he had special relations with Modi and the two nations’ leaders had spoken about the prosperity of Nepal and India.
To this, Jaishankar readily expressed India’s commitment to support Nepal in its every endeavor.
“The central message at the political level was that we are entering into a new chapter in bilateral ties,” said Rajan Bhattarai, Foreign Relations Advisor to PM Oli.
Oli took the opportunity to request Jaishankar that India receive the long-pending Eminent Persons’ Group report on Nepal-India relations. However, Jaishankar made no commitments on the same.
Both the nations eminent persons have been waiting for Modi’s to formally receive the report, which has certain recommendations that he is dissatisfied with.
Besides, the two ministers also spoke about the Jammu and Kashmir issue, which was followed by Jaishankar’s concerned query on the Nepal Prime Minister’s health.
“A warm and in-depth conversation with PM Oli. Really appreciate his receiving me amidst his many preoccupations,” tweeted Jaishankar shortly after the meeting.
The Indian Foreign Affairs Minister will meet with Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on the second day of his visit to Nepal.