Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar Set for Key Talks in Nepal – South Asia Time

Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar Set for Key Talks in Nepal

 January 2, 2024  

Kathmandu: Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar is scheduled to visit Nepal on Thursday to participate in the seventh meeting of the Nepal-India Foreign Minister-level Joint Commission. A special plane from the Indian Air Force is expected to land at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at 10 am, marking the start of Minister Jaishankar’s two-day visit.

Sources from the Indian Embassy confirmed that discussions during the Joint Commission meeting will primarily focus on implementing agreements forged during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’s recent visit to India. A source from the Foreign Ministry mentioned, “The agenda of the visit is nearly finalized, pending confirmation after discussions with the Prime Minister.”

Insiders from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hinted at a potential agreement to increase India’s assistance under the small aid project to Nepal from Rs.5 crore to Rs.20 crore, set to be officially signed during the visit.

Nepal is expected to propose the opening of international air routes, emphasizing routes from Mahendranagar, Nepalgunj, and Bhairahawa. Concurrently, India is gearing up for discussions on the Arun 3rd hydropower project, currently halted due to compensation disputes, and its potential completion by 2025. Additionally, India is expected to request the Tamor Hydropower Project, while an agreement remains pending on the Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted by India for the Pancheshwar multi-purpose project.

During Prime Minister Dahal’s visit to India last year, counterpart Narendra Modi expressed the intention to purchase 10,000 megawatts of electricity from Nepal over the next decade. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed, marking agreements for the construction of Phukot Karnali and Lower Arun, along with the inauguration of the Gorakhpur-Bhairawa 400 KV transmission line.

While in Kathmandu, Minister Jaishankar will hold courtesy meetings with President Ram Chandra Paudel, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, and CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli.