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Nepal Army chief to visit India next month to bolster military-to-military ties

KATHMANDU (PTI): Nepal Army Chief General Prabhuram Sharma will pay a four-day visit to India next month during which he will meet with his Indian counterpart General M M Naravane and other service chiefs to boost bilateral defence ties, it was announced in Kathmandu on Thursday.

Sharma is scheduled to leave for New Delhi on November 9, Government spokesperson Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said.

A Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba earlier in the day approved the Army Chief's visit to India, he said.

During the visit, Gen Sharma will be conferred with the honorary rank of General of the Indian Army by President Ram Nath Kovind.

He will also meet Gen Naravane, Chief of the Army Staff, and other service chiefs of the Indian Army, the spokesperson said.

Sharma will return to Nepal on November 12.

The visit of the Nepal Army Chief was announced on a day when senior officials from the two countries held the 14th meeting of the India-Nepal Bilateral Consultative Group on Security Issues (BCGSI) in Bengaluru.

Mutual security concerns, training and capacity building requirements of defence forces of Nepal and bilateral cooperation in disaster management were some of the key issues that figured prominently during the meeting.

The requirement of the Nepalese Army for various defence stores was also deliberated upon at the meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in New Delhi.

The Indian delegation at the talks was led by Anurag Srivastava, Joint Secretary (North) in the MEA while the Nepalese side was headed by Tirtha Raj Wagle, Joint Secretary (South Asia) in the Nepalese foreign ministry.

The delegations comprised officials from ministries of defence, foreign affairs and home affairs of both countries.

Representatives of the Indian Army and the Nepal Army were also part of the meeting.

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