India-Nepal increase engagement as Army chief MM Naravane reaches Kathmandu

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane is on a three-day visit to Nepal.

India-Nepal increase engagement as Army chief MM Naravane reaches Kathmandu

New Delhi: India and Nepal have increased engagement even as Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane reached Kathmandu on a three-day visit and India's envoy to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra met Nepal's new Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Poudyal.

A release by Nepal Army said, "Nepal army believes that exchange of such high-level visits and continuation of tradition helps in strengthening relations between the two armies, contributing to enhanced relationship between the two countries".

During the visit, General MM Naravane will be conferred the rank of an honorary General of the Nepali Army by the President of Nepal Bidhya Devi Bhandari on November 3 (Thursday). In 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind had conferred honorary General of Indian Army on Nepal Army Chief Purna Chandra Thapa.

During the visit, Indian Army Chief will call on Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other officials. The is the second visit of Army Chief outside the country amidst the pandemic. In October, he had visited Myanmar along with Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla, in a high profile visit that saw the focus on defence ties and how to jointly deal with COVID-19 pandemic.

On the diplomatic front, a tweet by the Indian envoy on his meeting with Nepali FS said, "Congratulated him on his appointment and held a positive conversation on substantively enriching and progressing India-Nepal cooperation".

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The ties between both the countries went downwards earlier in 2020 after Nepal issued a new map of the country that showed Indian territories of Lipulekh, Kalapani, Limpiyadhura as its own. The decision had irked New Delhi who called it "unjustified cartographic assertion".

In October, India's intel chief, RAW Chief Samant Goel visited the country, which was the first high-level visit from India to Nepal after the map row.

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