A group of experts examining India-Nepal relations will meet for the second time in New Delhi on Tuesday to review bilateral treaties and chart a new course for relations between the two countries.
Members of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India relations will review the agreements and come up with a common position on making them timely and relevant, said a Nepali member of the group.
While the Nepali side is focussed on reviewing the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 and immediate measures for trust-building, the Indian members are keen to explore broader areas for cooperation, sources said.
The Indian members of the group want to discuss economic cooperation through connectivity, infrastructure, energy, trade and commerce, and information and communications, they said.
The Treaty of Peace and Friendship states that the two countries “agree mutually to acknowledge and respect the complete sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of each other”, but some of its articles have been criticised in Nepal, with some saying the pact is outdated and irrelevant.
A Nepali official said there is “enormous zeal on both sides to take bilateral ties to new heights”.
The first meeting of the Eminent Persons Group, held in Kathmandu in July, set the tone for the mechanism formed to review Nepal-India relations in their entirety. It outlined a work plan and a future roadmap.
At the second meet in Delhi, members from both sides will table their agendas and prepare a common position on the issues the group is mandated to discuss. The third meeting of the group, expected to be held in Kathmandu, will take “some concrete steps”, the sources said.
The eight-member group has been asked to put together a mutually agreed document within two years to strengthen bilateral ties in view of evolving regional dynamics and the world order. The group has the mandate to look into five areas – political relations, government-to-government ties, development cooperation, economic exchanges, and social and cultural relations.