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Fifth India-Nepal Joint Commission meet concludes, MoU signed on food safety

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Kathmandu | August 22, 2019 7:41:23 AM IST
The fifth round of Indo-Nepal Joint Commission meeting concluded here with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on Food Safety and Standards.

"An MoU on Food Safety and Standards between the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) of Nepal and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was signed and exchanged in the presence of the two Ministers," Nepal's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Nepali counterpart Pradeep Kumar Gyawali co-chaired the meeting, along with their respective delegations on Wednesday.

Upon his arrival here on Wednesday afternoon, Jaishankar paid a courtesy call on Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and discussed issues of mutual interests.

During the meeting, both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations with specifically focusing on the areas of connectivity and economic partnership, trade and transit, power and water resources sectors, culture, and education.

"The Joint Commission expressed happiness over the momentum generated in the overall aspects of Nepal-India relations following the exchange of high-level visits in the past two years. Views were exchanged on the review of Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 and submission of a report of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations (EPG-NIR). Matters related to cooperation in international, regional and sub-regional fora were also discussed," the statement added.

The commission further expressed happiness at the completion of bilateral projects, such as Motihari- Amlekhgunj Petroleum Products Pipeline, four segments of Hulaki Roads, and post-earthquake reconstruction of private housing in Nuwakot and Gorkha districts.

They also expressed happiness over the progress made in Jayanagar-Janakpur and Jogbani-Biratnagar sections of cross-border railway projects and Integrated Check Post in Biratnagar.

In addition, the commission agreed to expedite the early completion of remaining projects, the ministry said.

India and Nepal expressed satisfaction over progress in three new areas which were agreed during Oli's visit to India in April 2018. The projects included Raxaul-Kathmandu Electrified Rail Line, Inland Waterways and New Partnership in Agriculture.

Further noting that inundation is a serious problem for people living in border areas of India and Nepal, the commission underlined the need for addressing such issues including the inadequate drainage provision that obstructs the natural flow of water in border areas.

The two also agreed to enhance cooperation in areas of socio-economic development, especially the tourism sector. On Nepal's request for additional air entry routes to Nepal, it was stated during the meeting that discussion which is underway between the civil aviation authorities of the two countries would yield positive results.

India who also has been aiding Nepal in the construction of the various infrastructures and reconstruction after the 2015's deadly earthquake has been extending help to the Himalayan Nation.

Also, India's ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri handed over two cheques for Terai Roads Project and Post-earthquake Reconstruction Project to CEO of National Reconstruction Authority Sushil Gyawali and Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Devendra Regmi, respectively.

On Thursday, the second day of his visit to Nepal, Jaishankar is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari.

The External Affairs Minister is scheduled to depart for New Delhi today afternoon. (ANI)

 
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