Jaishankar arrives in Nepal on two-day visit; to meet top leadership | India News

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KATHMANDU: External affairs minister S Jaishankar arrived here on Thursday on a two-day visit to co-chair with his Nepalese counterpart the seventh Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting here on Thursday and Friday during which they will review the overall state of bilateral ties.
It is Jaishankar’s first foreign trip in 2024.
Jaishankar will co-chair a meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission along with his Nepalese counterpart N P Saud.
The India-Nepal Joint Commission was established in 1987 and provides a platform for both sides to review all aspects of the bilateral partnership.
“Nepal is a priority partner of India under its ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy. The visit is in keeping with the tradition of high-level exchanges between two close and friendly neighbours,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi.
During the Joint Commission meeting, “the entire gamut of Nepal-India relations will be reviewed”, according to Nepal’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Amrit Bahadur Rai.
“The bilateral meeting will mainly focus on ways to strengthen Nepal-India relations in the days ahead and on maximising benefits for both the countries through enhanced partnership between them,” Rai told PTI ahead of the visit.
During his visit, Jaishankar will pay a courtesy call on President Ramchandra Paudel and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, the Foreign Ministry said. He is also scheduled to meet senior political leaders of Nepal, Foreign Ministry sources said.
Saud will also host a dinner in honour of Jaishankar and members of his delegation.
This will be Jaishankar’s first official visit to Nepal after Prachanda assumed the post of Prime Minister for the third time in December 2022.
It is expected that both sides will sign an agreement on the modalities that would facilitate Nepal exporting 10,000 megawatts of power to India in the next 10 years in line with a decision taken by the leadership of the two countries in June last year.
In June 2023, ‘Prachanda’ visited New Delhi during which both sides signed several major pacts including one on increasing New Delhi’s import of power from the neighbouring country to 10,000 MW in the next 10 years from the current 450 megawatts.
Nepal is important for India in the context of its overall strategic interests in the region, and the leaders of the two countries have often noted the age-old “Roti Beti” relationship.
Nepal shares a border of over 1,850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

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