KATHMANDU, June 22: India's Ministry of External Affairs has said that there are discussions taking place between India and Nepal to hold the fifth Joint Commission Meeting at the foreign minister level.
Responding to a media query at a recent press meet, spokesperson at India's Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said that the two sides have yet to finalize the dates for holding the meeting.
"Not at this point of time, I can only tell you that there is a strong focus on the neighboring countries as part of our Neighborhood First policy. There are discussions are taking place and the two sides are in touch to work out a mutually convenient date," he said.
On a question related to the possibility of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind's visit to Nepal, the spokesperson said he was not aware of that.
Earlier, Nepal had urged India to hold the fifth meeting of the Joint Commission at the foreign minister level as early as possible.
In his congratulatory message to newly-appointed External Affairs Minister of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in May, Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali stated that Nepal is looking forward to holding the fifth meeting of the Joint Commission at a mutually convenient time.
The fifth joint commission meeting was expected to be held in mid-February in Kathmandu but postponed due to Indian general elections.
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar could make his first visit to Nepal soon if the two sides agreed through diplomatic channels.
The JC meeting is expected to make a comprehensive review on all aspects of Nepal-India relations under five broad clusters namely political, security and boundary; economic cooperation and infrastructure; trade and transit; power and water resources; culture and education.
Formed in 1987, the Joint Commission is a bilateral mechanism at the foreign minister’s level with a mandate of reviewing the entire spectrum of Nepal-India bilateral relations.