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As map row simmers, India & Nepal foreign ministers to meet today to improve relationship

By The Print

Keeping aside the map row that kept bilateral ties between India and Nepal on tenterhooks last year, both sides now seem to be moving on a steady path of progress with New Delhi and Kathmandu holding the 6th Joint Commission meeting Friday.

This is the highest level dialogue mechanism between both the countries that takes place at the level of foreign ministers. Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep K. Gyawali arrived in New Delhi Thursday and prior to the Joint Commission meeting, he is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for a bilateral meeting Friday.

This is the highest-level visit from Nepal to India following the map row that threatened to disrupt the friendly ties between both the neighbours.

During the meeting, both sides are expected to discuss a range of issues — from the border row to faster implementation of projects by India in the Himalayan country — even as Kathmandu is now being run by an interim government after the informal split in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), sources told ThePrint.

According to the sources, Joint Commission meetings are usually structured with outcomes set beforehand. However, the fact that this will be preceded by a separate meeting between both the foreign ministers indicates a “thawing of ties”.

Sources also said while nothing concrete is expected to come out on the border row, a meeting of foreign secretaries of both countries may be announced that has the mandate to settle the Kalapani border issue.

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