KATHMANDU, Jan 10: The sixth meeting of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on Nepal-India Relations, which was formed to review the whole gamut of bilateral issues and recommend ways to improve relations between Nepal and India, is taking place in New Delhi, India, on Thursday.
The Nepali delegation of EPG led by its convener Bhekh Bahadur Thapa held separate consultations with the top leaders of three major political parties in the country before flying to New Delhi on Wednesday to take part in the two-day meeting.
While the EPG members held meeting with Nepali Congress (NC) President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Tuesday, they had separate meetings with CPN-UML Chairman K P Sharma Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Monday. The meetings were aimed at informing the top political leaders about progress and to receive their feedback and suggestions.
According to Prime Minister Deuba’s foreign relations adviser Dinesh Bhattarai, the EPG team led by Thapa briefed the prime minister on the ongoing negotiations with its Indian counterpart.
The prime minister had inquired about Indian positions on various issues of contention during the meeting.
Nepal and India had agreed to form the EPG during the visit of then Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai to India in October, 2011. During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal in July, 2014, the two countries had agreed to form the EPG comprising four members each with tenure of two years.
The Nepali EPG delegation headed by former foreign minister Thapa comprises of former minister Nilamber Acharya, former lawmaker Rajan Bhattarai and former secretary and chief commissioner of the anti-graft body Surya Nath Upadhyay as members.
The EPG members have been mandated to submit a joint document to their respective governments with recommendations to resolve all contentious issues between Nepal and India after holding discussions in the EPG meetings.
Rajan Bhattarai, a member of EPG from Nepal, said they have held discussions on all contentious issues between the two countries including the 1950 Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty, border management, utilization of hydro resources and issues related to trade and transit.