Foreign Ministry Gyawali embarks on three-day India visit

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Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali arrived in India on Thursday to participate in the India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting. He will co-chair the meeting along with Jaishankar on Friday.

This meeting is crucial and many are looking forward to the border disputes between the two neighbors which hasn’t been resolved yet. But India has hinted that the border talks is unlikely this time.

 The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “Our position on the boundary issue is well known. Let me say that the JCM and boundary talks are separate mechanisms.”

According to some sources, India wants the border talks to be incorporated in the foreign secretaries’ level meetings.

Further explaining about the meeting, the MEA spokesperson said “The Joint Commission is an important mechanism that provides the opportunity of reviewing at a high level the entire gamut of our bilateral partnership and providing political guidance to further enhance the special and unique ties that we enjoy. We look forward to constructive discussions on the numerous sectors that encompass our bilateral agenda.”

The relation between India and Nepal began to hit low when India published a new map including Kalapani, a contested region within its territories.

Nepal published a new, authoritative political map showing the areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura as part of its territory, toughening its stance on a recently flared up territorial dispute with India.

The Nepali government’s move to unveil a new political map came after India published its map more than six months ago, including the Lipulekh and Kalapani areas in its claimed territory. The tensions between the two neighbors deepened further when India inaugurated a road linking Dharchula in Uttarakhand state to Lipulekh, as part of the Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage route.

Nepal’s parliament  endorsed a constitutional amendment bill tabled by the government to revise its political map to include the areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura as part of its territory.

The passage of the Bill marks a historic move for Nepal and a tough blow for India, which is seen as acting as a regional bully or ‘big brother’ in Nepal. This border issue hasn’t been solved yet.

As the Foreign Ministry Gyawali arrived in India at a crucial time where there is a political crisis in Nepal, chances are high that the conversation will revolve around the political agenda this time. Nepal is facing a political turbulence after Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli dissolved the parliament.

 

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