India’s MEA S.Jaishankar to Embark on Nepal Visit for India-Nepal Joint Commission Meeting

Nepal’s Foreign Minister N.P. Saud has confirmed the visit, which comes after a gap of nearly three years. The primary objective of the visit is to review and strengthen the ties between Nepal and India.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is scheduled to embark on a visit to Kathmandu on January 4-5, 2024, to participate in the seventh meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission. This visit holds great significance as it marks a crucial milestone in the bilateral relations between the neighbouring nations.

Nepal’s Foreign Minister N.P. Saud has confirmed the visit, which comes after a gap of nearly three years. The primary objective of the visit is to review and strengthen the ties between Nepal and India. Saud stated, “The visit is almost confirmed. We have already begun the necessary preparations for the visit.”

During the visit, several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) are expected to be signed. Saud mentioned that while it is not yet certain, efforts are being made to reach agreements during the visit. One of the anticipated agreements is a significant deal on energy export, with plans to export 10,000 megawatts of energy from Nepal to India.

Apart from energy cooperation, discussions regarding digital payments are also expected to take place. Various ministries are currently engaged in talks to finalize the agenda for the meeting.

As the leader of the Indian delegation at the Joint Commission meeting, Jaishankar will engage in discussions with prominent leaders, including President Ram Chandra Poudel and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Additionally, he will have the honour of inaugurating the new central library at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, which has been constructed with Indian assistance.

The establishment of the Joint Commission during the visit of former Indian Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar to Nepal in February 1991 marked a significant milestone in the bilateral relations between the two countries. Building on the previous meeting held in New Delhi in January 2021, which covered a wide range of areas such as COVID-19 vaccine supply, boundary and border management, connectivity and economic cooperation, trade and transit, power and water resources, as well as culture and education, the upcoming visit of Minister S. Jaishankar holds great importance.

Strengthening Ties and Fostering Growth

This visit serves as a platform to strengthen the ties between India and Nepal, emphasizing the commitment of both nations to foster a strong and mutually beneficial relationship. The discussions and agreements that will take place during this visit are expected to contribute to regional stability and cooperation, highlighting the significance of dialogue and partnership in addressing common challenges and opportunities.

The anticipated energy export agreement is a clear indication of the increasing economic interdependence between India and Nepal. This agreement not only ensures energy security for India but also holds the potential to bring significant economic benefits to Nepal, boosting its energy sector and facilitating greater cross-border trade and investment.

Furthermore, the potential digital payments deal reflects the growing trend of digitization in economies and the shared desire to promote technological cooperation. This collaboration can potentially enhance financial inclusion and drive economic growth in both countries.

Overall, Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to Nepal signifies a crucial moment in strengthening ties and fostering growth between India and Nepal, paving the way for a prosperous and mutually beneficial future.