Nepal-EU Joint Commission meeting kicks off

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Kathmandu–A meeting of Nepal-European Union (EU) Joint Commission began in the capital today. Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shanker Das Bairagi is leading the Nepali delegation and Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, Paola Pampaloni, is leading the EU delegation in the meeting.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussion would be held regarding the matters of regional and multilateral mutual interest as well as all aspects related to Nepal-EU relations in the meeting.

Similarly, the meeting would also discuss the matter of increasing support provided by EU on trade and commercial cooperation, economic cooperation, development cooperation, joint investment, energy, science and technology, agriculture, environment, and human resource development areas.

Likewise, discussion on Nepal's political scenario would also be held in the meeting. The EU has been providing humanitarian assistance as well as concessional loan for the development of physical infrastructure and energy sector through European Union Bank. Nepal and EU signed a Co-operation Agreement in June 1996 which provides for a bi-annual Joint-Commission meeting between the two sides.

The agreement covers the areas like: trade and commercial cooperation, economic cooperation, development cooperation, joint investment, energy, science and technology, agriculture, environment, and human resource development.

This consultative mechanism, which is alternatively convened in Brussels and Kathmandu every two years, provides for a concrete framework to review and further enhance the bilateral relations across the entire spectrum including political, economic, trade and development cooperation. So far, there have been ten joint commission sessions held.

The tenth session was held Brussels, exchanging substantive views on the latest political situation in Nepal, including ongoing peace and constitutional process, and also discussing various ways and means to further strengthen the relationship between the two sides.

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