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4-member EPG suggested by Nepal to review accords with India

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Ahead of Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli maiden visit to India next month, the Nepal 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 names proposed to be included in EPG are – Former finance minister and former Nepalese Ambassador 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 lawmaker Rajan Bhattarai.
  • The next cabinet meeting will take a formal decision in this regard.

4-member EPG suggested by Nepal to review accords with IndiaBackground of EPG:
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. The decision was also endorsed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal last year.

  • It is learnt that India has already formed a four member EPG. The EPG will be authorised to look into the entire gamut of Nepal-India relations.

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

  • Oli’s maiden visit to India comes amid great unease in bilateral relations, owing to months-long blockade of the land-locked country enforced by Indian-origin Madhesi people who are protesting Nepal’s new constitution.

Keys Nepal:
Capital – Kathmandu
Currency – Nepalese rupee
President – Bidhya Devi Bhandari