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  4-member EPG for Nepal-India deals

4-member EPG for Nepal-India deals

Published : Jan 14, 2016, 11:00 pm IST
Updated : Jan 14, 2016, 11:00 pm IST

Ahead of Nepalese Prime Minister K.P.

Ahead of Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Oli’s maiden visit to India in February, the government has proposed formation of a four-member Eminent Persons’ Group to review the existing bilateral agreements with India including the strategic Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950.

The government has proposed names of four persons to form the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG), during the Cabinet meeting Wednesday though no formal decision was taken to this effect, minister for information and communication Sherdhan Rai said.

Former finance minister and former Nepalese envoy to India Bhesh Bahadur Thapa, former chief of the commission for investigation authority Suyra Nath Upadhyaya, former UN assistant secretary-general Kul Chandra Gautam and CPN-UML legislator Rajan Bhattarai, were names proposed to be included in the EPG. The next Cabinet me-eting will take a formal de-cision in this regard, said Mr Rai.

The 1950 India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship allows free movement of people and goods between the two nations and a close relationship and collaboration on matters of defence and foreign policy.

The proposal to form the EPG comes as the government prepares for Prime Minister’s visit to India scheduled for the second week of February.

Mr Oli’s maiden visit to India comes amid great unease in bilateral relations, owing to months-long bloc-kade in Nepal enforced by Indian-origin Madhesi people who are protesting Nepal’s new Constitution.

The Third Joint Commission Meeting of Nepal and India that was held here in July 2014 had decided to set up the EPG with four members from each side at the request of Nepal.

Location: Fiji Islands, Central, Kathmandu