October 09, 2017
In a move boosting Indo-Nepal ties, officials of both the countries gathered for the fifth meeting of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) meeting that began on October 07, 2017 and concluded today.
The 1950 Nepal-India Treaty of Peace and Friendship was one of the key issues discussed, wherein, the Nepali side sought changes in the treaty claiming that ‘things would not be the same’.
Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, Coordinator of EPG from the Nepali side, informed that the group would
re-assess the developments that took place so far and make necessary recommendations to ‘either replace the treaty or to put in place something new’.
“As we have said this treaty will not remain the same, it does not matter however you name it-amendment or replacement,” says Nilambar Acharya, another EPG member representing Nepali side.
According to Thapa, the two sides discussed in detail about the issues Nepal has with the treaty. “Talks were very positive even on some complex issues,” said Thapa.
Besides, the two sides also discussed border issues with a special emphasis on border management and regulations related to cross-border travel, checking of identity proofs, among others.
“Talks were held on overall border management based on international norms by keeping in mind
that everyday lives of the people residing in border areas should not be affected,” informed another EPG member Rajan Bhattarai.
Bhattarai further informed that the discussions were also held on trade and transit, wherein, Nepal’s trade with third countries, issues related to bilateral trade, trade facilitation, port facilities and security were also discussed.
“There are no major differences on trade and transit, and we are close to agreement,” he added.
The next round of EPG meeting will be held in New Delhi on November 11-12, 2017.