Indian Army chief arrives in Kathmandu

Indian Army chief arrives in Kathmandu

16Kathmandu, March 13 (IANS) The Indian Army chief, Gen. Bikram Singh, arrived here Thursday morning on a two-day official visit at the invitation of his Nepalese counterpart, Gen. Gurav Sumsher Rana.

This is his third visit to Nepal after assuming office in May 2012.

Gen. Bikram Singh will hold talks with President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Gen. Rana and other senior defence officials in Kathmandu Thursday before observing the Surya Kiran VI joint military exercise in southern Nepal on Friday, Nepalese Army spokesperson Brig. Jagadish Chandra Pokhrel said.

An infantry company comprising 250 officers and personnel of the Indian Army and 200 from Nepal, are taking part in the exercise that started March 5 at Saljhandi in Rupandehi district. This is the sixth such exercise between the two armies and the third in Nepal.

Besides other issues, the two army chiefs will discuss ways to strengthen military-to-military cooperation given that the Indian Army has for decades been the largest single provider of military-related aid to its Nepalese counterpart.

Gen. Bikram Singh will also meet Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae for lunch Thursday afternoon.

Gen. Bikram Singh first visited Nepal in July 2012, when he was conferred the honorary rank of general in the Nepalese Army, a tradition between the two armies. He again visited here in June 2013 to jointly flag-in the Indo-Nepal Joint Military Everest Clean-up Expedition and to celebrate the successful ascent of Mt. Everest by climbers of the two armies.

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