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Indian army chief to visit Nepal on March 28-31

- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, NEW DELHI
Gen Rawat to meet CoAS Chhetri, PM Dahal, President Bhandari and Defence Minister Khand

Mar 19, 2017- Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat is visiting Nepal on March 28-31 at the invitation of the government of Nepal.

Soon after he became the chief of the Indian Army on December 31 last year, Rawat was invited to visit Nepal.

In Nepal, Rawat will have meetings with his Nepali counterpart Chief of the Army Staff Gen Rajendra Chhetri, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Defence Minister Bal Krishna Khand. He is also scheduled to visit the Indian pension paying camps in Pokhara and Muktinath.

The army chiefs of Nepal and India have a tradition of exchanging their honorary titles in a mark of their special relations. A special function will be organised at the President’s Office to confer the honorary chief title to Gen Rawat.

There will be bilateral talks on the issues related to defence cooperation, according to officials. Also on the agenda is the purchase of military hardware from India.

In the 12th meeting of the Nepal-India Bilateral Consultative Group on security issues held in Kathmandu last year, Nepal had proposed new terms for procuring military hardware from India. The issue is likely to be figure in Rawat’s meeting with Gen Chhetri.

“There are also some issues related to helicopters and others,” said an official seeking anonymity. 

After Rawat’s visit, there will be preparations for holding the 13th meeting of the consultative group, possibly in June or July.

The visit is taking place at a time when Nepal and China are preparing to hold their first joint military exercise. Though not publicly, India has expressed its displeasure over the plan.

A two-week long India-Nepal joint military exercise is going on in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The focus of the exercise is on jungle warfare and counter-militancy. More than 600 soldiers from Nepal and India are participating in the drill.

Published: 19-03-2017 09:18

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