KATHMANDU, Oct 27: Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane's three-day crucial visit to Nepal will begin on November 4.
The visit 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, the Economic Times reported quoting Indian officials and Press Trust of India (PTI). "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.”
The Nepali side, however, has yet to confirm the date.
Continuing a tradition of friendship between the two militaries, Indian Army Chief Naravane will be decorated with the honorary rank of General of Nepal Army by President Bidya Devi Bhandari during the visit. Conferring the highest rank to the chiefs of each other’s militaries is a tradition that has been followed by Nepal and India since 1950 after then Indian army Chief General KM Cariappa visited Nepal.
The Indian 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
An invitation had been extended to the Indian Army Chief by the Nepal government on February 3 earlier this year.
Sources said that the proposed visit of the Indian Army chief could not take place in subsequent months following his controversial remarks in May on the road to Lipu Lekh, a sovereign Nepali territory which India claims as its own despite Nepal’s objection.