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Multinational military exercise kicks off in Nepal

KATHMANDU (PTI): Multinational military exercise - 'Shanti Prayas IV' - kicked off in Nepal on Tuesday at the Army headquarters here with the participation of 19 countries, including India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to enhance the interoperability and peacekeeping skills of the forces.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" inaugurated the two-week-long military drill amidst a special ceremony, according to a press release issued by the Nepal Army Headquarters.

The multinational military exercise is taking place at the Birendra Peace Operation Training Centre in the Kabhre district, 50 km east of Kathmandu. It will see the participation of 1,125 army personnel from 19 countries, including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The exercise has been organised with the assistance of the Global Peace Operation Initiative of the US government and with the joint efforts of the Nepal Army and the US Army, the release said.

The US delegation to the joint military exercise is led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Rachel Schiller.

During the inaugural event at the playground of Nepal Army headquarters, participating countries displayed their respective flags, fly passes and bands.

Nepal hosted the inaugural multi-platoon training event "Shanti Prayas" in 2000. Since then, three successful multi-platoon exercises have taken place in the Himalayan country, with the participation of military forces from various countries.

According to the centre, the objective of the exercise, which will run till March 4, is to increase interoperability and peacekeeping skills at various levels before deployment to the UN missions and operational level staff training (STE).

The key events of the exercise are the tactical level field training event (FTE) and critical enabler and capability enhancement (2CE).

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