India-Nepal Joint Press Statement
India-Nepal Joint Press Statement, Visit of Prime Minister of Nepal Rt. Hon. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba to India
The Rt. Hon. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal, paid an official working visit to India from September 8-12, 2004, at the invitation of His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. The visiting delegation included Hon. Dr. Mohammad Mohsin, Minister for Information and Communication, Hon. Mr. Badri Prasad Mandal, Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation, Hon. Mr. Ishwar Pokhrel, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Hon. Mr. Thakur Prasad Sharma, Minister of State for Water Resources and Hon. Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. The delegation also included officials of His Majestyís Government of Nepal, a business delegation and a delegation of media representatives. Prime Minister Deuba was also accompanied by his wife, Dr. Arzu Deuba.
2. The Prime Minister of Nepal called on His Excellency the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He had a meeting with the Prime Minister of India, which was followed by talks and luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister of India. Minister of External Affairs Shri K. Natwar Singh, Minister of Defence Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Home Affairs Shri Shivraj Patil, Minister of Railways Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav, Minister of Water Resources Shri Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Shri L. K. Advani called on the Prime Minister of Nepal. The Prime Minister of Nepal met the Chairperson of UPA and President of Indian National Congress, Smt. Sonia Gandhi as well as former Prime Ministers Shri Chandra Shekhar, Shri H.D. Deve Gowda and Shri A. B. Vajpayee. He also addressed a business meeting organized jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries.
3. The two Prime Ministers held wide-ranging discussions in an atmosphere of warmth, friendship, openness and mutual confidence, characteristic of the relationship between the two countries. They expressed satisfaction at the progress made in various areas of cooperation between India and Nepal and reiterated the commitment to further develop bilateral relations in the spirit of equality and mutual respect.
Combating Terrorism/Security Cooperation
4. The Prime Ministers reiterated the determination of the two countries in combating the scourge of terrorism. They agreed to further intensify cooperation in curbing the activities of the extremists and terrorists. In this context, they expressed satisfaction at the ongoing cooperation under the existing mechanism in the areas of supply of equipment, training and exchange of information. Prime Minister Deuba thanked the Government of India for the timely and substantive support provided by India in Nepalís efforts to deal with the Maoist insurgency. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh reassured the support of the Government of India for further strengthening of Nepalís security forces including the Nepal Police.
5. The Prime Ministers stressed the need for an early conclusion of the Extradition Treaty and Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters and directed the Home Secretaries to take up the matter in their next meeting with a view to finalizing the documents. It was noted that the next meeting would take place in October 2004 in New Delhi.
6. The Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress made by the Joint Technical Level Boundary Committee and directed the Committee to complete the remaining mandated tasks by June 2005.
7. The Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress on the implementation of various Nepal-India economic and development cooperation projects. They reiterated their desire to further deepen and diversify such cooperation.
8. The Prime Ministers welcomed the proposal regarding cooperation for development of road network in the Terai, including the development of identified stretches of Hulaki Rajmarg.
9. The Prime Ministers welcomed the idea of cooperation for conservation and development of Churia range in Nepal. A concept paper would be forwarded by the Nepalese side.
10. The Prime Ministers decided that the proposed Institute of Technology in the Far-Western Region of Nepal would be set up in two phases. A team from India will visit Nepal soon for discussions with His Majestyís Government of Nepal to select a suitable site for the project.
11. Emphasizing the importance of cooperation in the water resources sector, the two Prime Ministers stressed the need for expeditious progress on projects currently under active consideration including Pancheshwar and Upper Karnali. They also directed that work on the preparation of the DPR of Budhi Gandaki project be commenced expeditiously. The two Prime Ministers noted that the next series of meetings of bilateral institutional mechanisms including the meetings of the Joint Committee on Water Resources (JCWR) and the Joint Group of Experts on Pancheshwar would be held by October 2004. They welcomed the establishment of the Joint Project Office for Sapta Koshi Multipurpose Project and Sun Koshi Storage cum Diversion Scheme.
12. The Prime Ministers mandated the Joint Committee on Water Resources to prepare a comprehensive strategy for flood management and control, including measures that can be implemented in the short to medium term. The Prime Ministers directed the Standing Committee on Inundation Problems and the High Level Technical Committee to resolve all inundation and embankment related issues soon.
Trade, Transit and Investment
13. The Prime Ministers welcomed the operationalization of the Inland Container Depot and the opening of the Consulate General of India in Birgunj.
14. The Prime Ministers directed the concerned officials to discuss the matter related to use of the ICD for carrying of cargo for bilateral trade.
15. They stressed the need for an early formalization and implementation of the Motor Vehicles Agreement.
16. The Prime Ministers directed the two sides to expeditiously resolve outstanding trade issues, including in removing some practical problems in the implementation of the Treaty of Trade and to implement agreed trade facilitation measures speedily. They decided to accord priority, in particular, to addressing issues relating to quarantine and testing procedure for Nepalís export of agricultural and food products, including Vanaspati Ghee.
17. The Government of India agreed to consider the utilization of Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai for Nepalís use of its transit cargo.
18. The Prime Ministers agreed to direct the concerned officials to finalize arrangements for improving border infrastructure at four major customs points, and for development and upgradation of rail and road networks on both sides.
19. The Prime Ministers welcomed the agreement between Bureau of Indian Standards and Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology as first step towards mutual recognition of certification systems.
20. The Prime Ministers welcomed the agreement between Indian Oil Corporation and Nepal Oil Corporation for a joint venture regarding construction of an oil pipeline between Raxaul (India) and Amlekhgunj (Nepal).
21. The Prime Ministers agreed to further strengthen the policy framework for bilateral investments, inter alia, through speedy conclusion of a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
Culture and Sports
22. The Prime Ministers welcomed the conclusion of the Agreement on Cooperation in the fields of Culture and Sports, which would provide the necessary framework for institutionalized cooperation in these areas.
Science and Technology
23. The Prime Ministers welcomed the conclusion of Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Weather Forecasting, which envisages the setting up of an INSAT Ground Receiving Station in Nepal.
1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship
24. The Prime Ministers directed the Foreign Secretaries to continue discussion on the review of the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship with a view to further strengthening the bilateral relations.
25. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh accepted the invitation extended by Prime Minister Deuba for an official visit to Nepal at a convenient date.
Source: Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.