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India invites Nepal for ministerial meeting as neighbours moot solving border dispute ‘via proper channels’

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla in Kathmandu during his two-day visit to Nepal, on Thursday, November 26, 2020.

Kathmandu, November 27

India has invited Nepal for a meeting between foreign affairs ministers of two countries likely to be held in the second week of December.

Sources say visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla handed over Indian External Affair Minister S Jaishankar’s invite to Nepal’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Thursday.

On the first day of his two-day visit to Nepal, Shringla had paid a courtesy call on Gyawali in Kathmandu yesterday.

The joint commission involving foreign affairs ministers is mandated to discuss in detail all issues of mutual concern and direct concerned agencies to solve them.

The commission had held its last meeting in 2018 in Kathmandu. Customarily, the two countries alternately host the meetings.

The commission’s meeting in 2014, held after 23 years, had directed foreign secretaries of the two countries to do necessary homework on solving the border dispute. The direction, however, has not substantially materialised yet.

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla meets Nepal’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, in Kathmandu, on Thursday, November 26, 2020. Photo: RSS

Meanwhile, Gyawali and Shringla discussed solving the border dispute “through proper channels while sharing their own perspectives, an official privy to the meeting says.

Gyawali and other Nepali officials who met Shringla yesterday said the issue should be solved on the basis of available historical evidence. Sources say Shringla also responded positively to the view.

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