KATHMANDU, Aug 2: Nepal and India have expedited preparations to hold Joint Commission (JC) meeting at the earliest in Kathmandu.
High-level sources said the two sides are currently communicating through diplomatic channel to fix the date of JC any time soon. The JC is a bilateral institutional mechanism at the level of foreign ministers of the two countries to discuss whole gamut of bilateral relations and recommend measures to improve them.
“Preparations are underway to host the Joint Commission meeting at the earliest in Kathmandu. The two sides will soon announce the date,” said a source on condition of anonymity. “The JC meeting will be held anytime soon this month.”
Sources said Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has already started working on the agenda to be discussed during the meeting. Nepal and India have a number of issues to be discussed and resolved as JC meeting, which is a forum to discuss all issues of bilateral concerns, has not convened after 2016.
Speaking at a function in the capital recently, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali had said that flood and inundation caused due to illegal structures built along the border by Indian side would among the agenda to be discussed in the JC meeting. Nepal is also awaiting implementation of the recommendations made by the report submitted by Eminent Persons Group (EPG).
The last meeting of JC was held in New Delhi in October, 2016. Then Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat and Minister for State for External Affairs of India MJ Akbar had co-chaired the meeting.
Sources said the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to take part in the JC meeting in Kathmandu will also pave way for the high level visit from India to Nepal. Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to visit Nepal soon.