Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar to visits Nepal for two days

Kathmandu: Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is set to arrive in Kathmandu on Thursday for a significant two-day official visit to Nepal. The visit aims to strengthen bilateral ties and foster cooperation between the two neighboring nations.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Minister Jaishankar’s visit centers around the seventh meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission (JC), a diplomatic forum led by the foreign ministers of both countries.

Scheduled to land at 10 AM in Kathmandu, Minister Jaishankar will arrive via a special airplane provided by the Indian Air Force, as confirmed by the Personal Secretariat of Foreign Minister NP Saud.

One of the key agenda items for the JC meeting is the discussion on the implementation of agreements made during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s recent visit to India. A formal agreement for the export of 10,000 MW electricity from Nepal to India over the next decade is also expected to be signed during the visit.

Additionally, both nations are anticipated to reach a separate agreement addressing India’s proposal to increase funding for small development projects under the High-impact Community Development Projects. Talks on the Pancheshwar Multi-purpose Project are on the agenda, though a final agreement on this matter appears less likely, according to government officials.

Officials from the MoFA indicated that the agenda for the JC meeting is still under finalization. Foreign Minister NP Saud held a consultation meeting on Tuesday with former foreign secretaries, ministers, and ambassadors to India to shape the meeting’s agenda. Recommendations included addressing trade deficit, expanding power trade, strengthening cross-border infrastructure, expediting stalled projects funded by India, and requesting additional air entry routes.

The sixth JC meeting took place on January 14 and 15, 2021, in New Delhi. Minister Jaishankar’s itinerary in Kathmandu includes courtesy calls on President Ram Chandra Paudel, Prime Minister Dahal, Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba, and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli. Before departing to New Delhi, he is also scheduled to inaugurate a library building at Tribhuvan University constructed with assistance from India.