Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar called on Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Kathmandu on Thursday. He also met Nepal President Ram Chandra Paudel at his office in Kathmandu.
Earlier in the day, Jaishankar arrived in Nepal for his first visit of 2024. He stated that he looked forward to the engagements over the next two days.
Upon arrival, Jaishankar met Nepal's Foreign Minister NP Saud and the two leaders engaged in conversation as they proceeded towards their car.
In a post shared on X, Jaishankar stated, "Namaste Kathmandu Happy to be back in Nepal for my first visit of 2024. Looking forward to the engagements over the next two days."
During his two-day visit to Kathmandu, Jaishankar will co-chair the 7th meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission with his counterpart NP Saud. The Joint Commission Meeting will review the overall state of bilateral relations and various areas of mutual cooperation, according to the statement released by Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Established in 1987, the India-Nepal Joint Commission provides a platform for both ministers to review all aspects of the bilateral partnership. Jaishankar will also call on the leadership of Nepal and meet prominent political figures, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Nepal Foreign Minister NP Saud will host a dinner in honour of Jaishankar and members of his delegation, according to a statement released by Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Speaking to ‘The Kathmandu Post’, NP Saud said, "We are planning to ink two agreements and are going to inaugurate three cross-border transmission lines." He further said, "Besides these, we have over three dozen items of meeting agenda."
During the meeting, the two sides will hold talks on connectivity and economic partnership, trade and transit, power and water resources, culture and education, among other things, The Kathmandu Post reported. The two leaders will discuss matters agreed upon during Pushpa Kamal Dahal's official visit to Delhi in 2022.
After the joint commission meeting, India and Nepal will sign agreements related to long-term energy cooperation and India's proposal to increase funds for small development projects under the High-impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs), ‘The Kathmandu Post’ reported.
Nepal is a priority partner of India under its 'Neighbourhood First' policy,' according to MEA. In a statement, MEA stated, "The visit is in keeping with the tradition of high-level exchanges between two close and friendly neighbours."
Notably, India and Nepal share unique ties of friendship and cooperation characterised by an open border and deep-rooted people-to-people contacts of kinship and culture, according to MEA. The India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 forms the bedrock of the special ties that exist between the two nations.