Army Chief arrives in Nepal tmrw amid strained ties over border row

New Delhi (NVI): Army Chief General MM Naravane today arrived in Nepal for his three-day visit amid growing concerns over the strained relations between the two countries over border issues recently.

The COAS visit is expected to break the ice as the Army Chief will meet Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and may hold talks over the controversy over road construction via Lipulekh for pilgrimage to Mansarovar in Tibet.

In a statement today, Gen Naravane said: “I am delighted to be visiting Nepal on their kind invitation, and to meet my counterpart General Purna Chandra Thapa, Chief of the Army Staff of the Nepali Army. I am sure this visit will go a long way in strengthening the bonds of friendship that the two Armies Cherish.

“I am also grateful for the opportunity to call on the Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal. It is going to be a great honour for me to be conferred the honorary rank of General of the Nepali Army by the Rt. Hon’ble President of Nepal. I am looking forward eagerly to this visit.”

The Indian Embassy in Nepal also responded to media queries today regarding the Army chief’s visit. Indian Embassy’s spokesperson in Kathmandu, Naveen Kumar said that Gen. Naravane’s visit would deepen the long-standing and customary bonds of friendship between the two Armies.

“His visit will provide an opportunity for both sides to discuss the bilateral defence partnership and explore avenues to further strengthen it for mutual benefit,” the Embassy said in another tweet.

-ARK