The fifth meeting of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations (EPG-NIR) began here Saturday to review wide-ranging aspects of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The two-day meeting is expected to agree on the text to revise the peace and friendship treaty signed between Nepal and India, Coordinator of the Nepalese side Bhes Bahadur Thapa told local media.
"The treaty has to be updated and revised in line with the needs of the changing times," Thapa, who is also a former foreign minister, said.
According to Xinhua news agency, in the fourth meeting held in India earlier this year, the Nepalese side had proposed to review and contextualize the Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty.
The revision of the Peace and Friendship Treaty-1950 has become a matter of discussion between Nepal and India for years at the government and experts' level. However, the two sides have yet to agree on a common point to do so.
"The fifth meeting is focused on revisiting or replacing the treaties, agreements, and arrangements between the two countries by chalking out a roadmap of the bilateral ties that is characterized by social, economic, religious and cultural aspects," Rajan Bhattarai, another member of the EPG from Nepalese side told media.
The regulation of the open border between Nepal and India is another matter of discussion this time, the EPG officials said.
The EPG-NIR was officially established in 2016 during a visit of then Nepali Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli to India.
The experts' panel is mandated to submit a common comprehensive report within 2018 containing recommendations on various aspects of bilateral issues such as political, security, social, economic, trade, transit, border management and water resources to both the governments.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Professor Mahendra P Lama and BC Upreti were present in the meeting.
However, former Indian envoy to Nepal Jayant Prasad, who is also the member, was absent in the meeting.
The EPG was formed with an objective to strengthen the bilateral ties and to review the past treaties and agreements including the 1950 treaty between Nepal and India after detail study in the respective fields.
Dr Bheikh Bahadur Thapa, former secretary and chief of CIAA Surya Nath Upadhyay, former Minister Nilambar Acharya and lawmaker Dr. Rajan Bhattarai from Nepal were present in the meeting.