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Indian Army Chief scheduled to visit Nepal from November 4-6

DIGEST-ENG-26-10-2020-Nepal

Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane’s three-day crucial visit to Nepal beginning November 4 is expected to have a significant diplomatic overtone with India looking at resetting relations with the Himalayan nation after the ties came under severe strain following a bitter border row, officials said on Sunday.

The Chief of Army Staff is scheduled to hold extensive talks with the top civilian and military brass of Nepal including his counterpart General Purna Chandra Thapa on a range of key issues such as further boosting the management of the nearly 1,800 km-long border between the two countries.

“The Chief of Army Staff is scheduled to visit Nepal from November 4 to 6 with an aim to strengthen overall ties including in areas of defence and security,” a highly-placed government source told PTI.

In continuation of an age-old tradition that started in 1950, Gen Naravane will be conferred with the honorary rank of ‘General of the Nepal Army’ by Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari at an event in Kathmandu. India also confers the honorary rank of ‘General of Indian Army’ to the Nepal Army Chief.

India’s decision to send the Army Chief to Nepal to reset the ties is seen as part of a larger exercise by New Delhi to rejuvenate relations with Myanmar, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Afghanistan in the wake of greater efforts by China to expand its influence in the region.

Earlier this month, Gen Naravane travelled to Myanmar along with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on a very crucial visit during which India decided to supply an attack submarine to the Myanmarese Navy besides agreeing to further deepen military and defence ties.