Decoding Nepal Foreign Minister Gyawali’s visit to India

Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali arrived in India on January 13th for a three-day visit during which he participated in the 6th India-Nepal Joint Commission. Gyawali met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for their first face-to-face meeting.

The visit comes in the setting of last year’s boundary line dispute between the two countries when Nepal distributed another political map that indicated the three India domains – Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani as a part of Nepal.

Gyawali, co-seated the India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting alongside EAM Jaishankar. This comes against the scenery of a political emergency in Nepal, where Nepal PM K P Sharma Oli has disintegrated the Parliament and is currently heading an overseer government.

“The Joint Commission may be a major factor that provides the prospect of assessing at a better level the whole gamut of our bilateral partnership and providing political guidance to additionally improve the novel ties between the two countries. We anticipate useful conversations on various areas that incorporate our respective plan,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. On whether there’ll be talks on the boundary issue, the MEA spokesperson said, “Our position on the boundary issue is well known. Allow me to say that the JCM and boundary talks are discrete components.”

The Joint Commission is the most noteworthy system between the two nations to examine the whole range of reciprocal relations. During the gathering, the two nations are booked to have conversations on different issues including trade, transit, energy, tourism, cooperation, infrastructure, boundary and Covid-19 among others. Despite the fact that Nepal has officially connected with India and China for vaccines, Kathmandu has demonstrated an inclination for sourcing portions from New Delhi due to various components, for example, evaluating, pricing and grounded joins between the wellbeing areas of the two nations. Individuals acquainted with improvements said on state of secrecy that Nepal is trusting India will give vaccines as help to immunize a portion of the 12 million populace it intends to cover in its first period of vaccinations. Nepal additionally plans to purchase a great many portions from foreign providers, including the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. The Indian side has said the nation’s capacity to send out vaccines in the wake of addressing homegrown necessities will turn out to be clear throughout the following not many weeks. Authorities have additionally said India’s neighbours will be given priority for the supply of vaccines.

During his visit, Gyawali met with the high-level dignitaries in India. He was joined by Nepalese Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Poudyal and Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population Laxmi Aryal, as indicated by authorities. After Nepal delivered the map a year ago, India responded pointedly by, considering it a ‘unilateral act’ and alerted Kathmandu that such ‘fake entrapment’ of regional cases won’t be worthy to it. New Delhi said that Nepal’s activities disregarded an agreement came to between both the two nations to determine the boundary issues through talks. The bilateral exchanges that had slowed down because of the severe boundary debate were reset in the later part of 2020 with a progression of significant level visits, as New Delhi accentuated that India and Nepal are in the same place and offer a similar vision.

Gyawali met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his three-day visit and discussed the bilateral ties on Saturday. The Defence Minister stated that India is ready to provide Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) training & capacity building of Nepal.

This was the first visit of Nepal’s Foreign Minister after the continuous strained relation of both Nepal and India over the demarcation of the boundary which erupted in May 2020. Gyawali also briefed the Indian side on the political advancements in Nepal. India has been watching out for China’s endeavours to handle a comprehension among Oli and his fundamental opponent, Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, to keep the Nepal Communist Party joined together.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not have a meeting with Gyawali which in a way showcase that India is still displeased over the Nepal government’s decision to amend its map to include Indian territories. The Nepali delegation had requested a meeting with the Prime Minister of India, as the Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli had met with the Indian Foreign Secretary along with the Army Chief General Manoj Naravane and R&AW Chief Samant Goywal when they visited Kathmandu on different occasions in November 2020. The Prime Minister’s decision to not meet Gyawali indicated that India and Nepal’s relation was a signal that showcased the relationship between the neighbouring countries has not yet improved.

Gyawali’s visit has been seen as a message that India is willing to deal with the Nepal government despite tensions and even though the government of Nepal has dissolved and declared fresh elections, the Indian government has chosen to remain silent and not to give any comment on the political turmoil, in contrast to the active role played by China who even sent a high-level delegation of the Communist Party to try and resolve the rift, unsuccessfully.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Tanaya Narzari

Tanaya Narzari is a Former Journalism Intern at The Kootneeti

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