Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali will likely visit New Delhi today to begin the 6th meeting of the Nepal-India Joint
Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali will likely visit New Delhi today to begin the 6th meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission. However, the exact date and agenda for the minister’s visit have not yet been announced by the Nepalese Foreign Ministry.
Relations between the two reached a nadir this May after the Indian military announced the construction of an 80km road that would connect Uttarakhand with the Lipulekh Pass on the Chinese border. However, the road would run through the disputed Kalapani region, which is claimed by both India and Nepal, which prompted diplomatic protests and nationalist fervour from Kathmandu. Nevertheless, New Delhi’s interest in building access infrastructure for its military in the region to deter potential Chinese aggression has not abated.
Considering the Indian foreign secretary’s visit to Kathmandu last month ended with a cordial resolution to strengthen bilateral ties, expect today’s visit to continue to improve relations. Still, Nepal’s relations with Beijing have also warmed in recent years, with Kathmandu joining the Belt and Road Initiative and remaining a regular defense cooperator. It will take much more than a thaw in relations for New Delhi to get Kathmandu back in its corner.