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Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat to visit Nepal

Gen Bipin Rawat will be among the chief guests at the Nepal Army Day parade at Tundhikhel in the heart of Kathmandu on February 12.

world Updated: Feb 08, 2018 22:14 IST
Anil Giri
Anil Giri
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
General Bipin Rawat,Nepal Army Day parade,India-Nepal relations
Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat arrives at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI)

Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat will make a four-day visit to Nepal next week, when he will participate in the Nepal Army Day celebrations in Kathmandu.

He will be among the chief guests at the Nepal Army Day parade at Tundhikhel in the heart of Kathmandu on February 12 .

“At the invitation of our army chief, Gen Rajendra Chettri, the Indian Army chief will be visiting Kathmandu a day ahead of the Nepal Army Day. He will be among the chief guests, including President Bidhya Devi Bhandari,” said the Nepal Army spokesperson, Brig Gen Gokul Bhandari.

“The serving Indian Army chief also serves as the honorary chief of the Nepal Army and vice -versa. So Gen Rawat was invited this year as a special guest,” said Bhandari.

Apart from meeting his counterpart, Rawat will call on President Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and defence minister Bhimshen Das Pradhan.

An Indian Army band that will participate in the Nepal Army Day parade has already arrived in Kathmandu.

The Indian Army is one of the major suppliers of military gear to Nepal, including lethal and non-lethal equipment, and the two sides are expected to discuss various aspects of military-to-military cooperation during the visit.

Rawat’s visit comes at a time when Nepal is preparing for the formation of a new government led by KP Sharma Oli, the head of the CPN-UML party.

His visit will also follow those by two senior military officials from the US and the UK.

Gen Nicholas Patrick Carter, chief of general staff of the British Army is currently in Nepal. He has held talks with Gen Chettri. The chief of the US Army in Asia Pacific, Gen Robert B Brown, began a visit to Kathmandu on Thursday night.

After the Indian Army, the US Army has been the biggest source of arms for the Nepal Army for long and it also provided aid during the great earthquake of 2015.

“These visits are not just part of defence diplomacy undertaken by the Nepal Army. They also demonstrate the increasing interest of the major powers in Nepal ahead of the formation of a new Communist government and the geo-strategic importance of Nepal,” said an official of the defence ministry.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 19:57 IST