NEW DELHI: After a gap of 23 years, India and Nepal will hold a Joint Commission meeting to discuss key political, security and border issues for which External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Nepal on Friday.
Announcing the visit, the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry today said, "Our intention, endeavour and hope is that the External Affairs Minister's visit will pave the way for Prime Minister's early visit to Nepal."
During her three-day visit, Swaraj will call on top leadership including Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and hold meeting with leaders across the political spectrum, including Maoist leader Prachanda.
The Joint Commission meeting (JCM) will have five clusters -Political, security and border issues; Economic Co-operation and Infrastructure; Trade and Transit; Power and Water Resources and Culture, Education and Media, he said.
The delegation for the JCM will comprise officials from various ministries including Power, Water Resources, Commerce, Road Transport, Railways, Human Resources Development, Culture, besides the MEA and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Spokesperson said.
Even though the JCM was happening after a long period, India has 25 bilateral mechanisms with Nepal where both are interacting on a regular basis, he added.
On economic front, he said the bilateral trade is approximately $4.7 billion and India accounts for 47 per cent of foreign direct investment in Nepal. There are six million Nepalese workers in India. Annually three thousand Nepalese are provided scholarships.