Energy and land connectivity, including the construction of a second fuel pipeline, were among key topics discussed by the foreign ministers of India and Nepal on Friday at their sixth Joint Commission meeting.
External affairs minister S. Jaishankar and Nepalese counterpart Pradeep Kumar Gyawali also exchanged views on railway connectivity between the two countries, and India’s assistance in providing vaccines to combat the covid-19 pandemic in Nepal. Gyawali arrived in New Delhi on Thursday on a three-day visit setting the tone for a new phase in ties after a rough patch last May following Kathmandu’s decision to publish a map showing three areas within the Indian territory as part of Nepal. Ties began to improve with Nepal’s PM K.P. Sharma Oli greeting his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the occasion of India’s Independence Day. Indian Army chief Manoj Mukund Naravane and foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited Nepal last November.
“The Joint Commission comprehensively reviewed all aspects of multifaceted cooperation between the two countries and explored ways to further strengthen the traditionally close and friendly ties. Both sides discussed several areas of cooperation, including in the areas of connectivity, economy and trade, power, oil and gas, water resources, political and security issues, border management, development partnership, tourism, culture, education and capacity building,” according to an Indian readout on Friday’s talks.