India, Nepal agree to review 1950 friendship treaty

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India and Nepal have agreed to "review, adjust and update" the Indo-Nepal friendship treaty of 1950 and also decided to find a permanent solution to the boundary issue so that it is

not misused by "unscrupulous elements" posing security threats to either side.

"The two Prime Ministers agreed to review, adjust and update the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 and other bilateral agreements," according to a joint statement issued today at the end of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first visit to Nepal.

Prime Minister Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala welcomed the decision of the Joint Commission to direct the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries to meet and discuss specific proposal to revise the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950, which the Government of Nepal agreed to provide at the earliest, the statement said.

"Both sides agreed that the revised treaty should better reflect the current realities and aim to further consolidate and expand the multifaceted and deep rooted relationships in a forward looking manner," it said.

"India wants Nepal to give suggestions so that the issue can be settled once and for all. Prime Minister Modi said we should settle issues like friends," Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters during a briefing on Modi's meeting with the Nepalese leadership.

Under the provisions of the treaty, Nepalese citizens have enjoyed unparalleled advantages in India, availing the facilities and opportunities on par with Indian citizens.

The treaty enabled Nepal to overcome the disadvantages of being a land-locked country. Overtime, many regimes in Nepal have raised the issue of revision of the treaty.

On the boundary issue, the two prime ministers underlined the need to resolve pending Nepal-India border disputes once and for all. They welcomed the formation of the Boundary Working Group (BWG) to undertake the construction, restoration and repair of boundary pillars including clearance of 'No man's land' and other technical tasks, the statement said.

Both Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the excellent cooperation on security related matters and directed the competent authorities on both sides to make sure that the open border, which has facilitated movements of people on both sides of the border and has been a unique feature of Nepal-India bilateral relations, is not misused by "unscrupulous elements" posing security threats to either side, it said.

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