This visit stands crucial between India and Nepal given the recent tensions that had propped up between the two countries
Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen M M Naravane, who is on a three-day visit to Nepal, was conferred with the honorary rank of General of the Nepali Army by President Bidya Devi Bhandari at a special ceremony on 5 November in Kathmandu.
A statement issued by the Nepal Army said that the Indian Army Chief was presented with a sword, insignia and a certificate of conferment order by the President at her official residence ‘ShitalNiwas’. In attendance were Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, Indian Ambassador Vinay M Kwatra and other senior officials from India and Nepal.
The statement added, “This long-held tradition is emblematic of the close ties between the national armies of Nepal and India”.
Press Trust of India in a report said, “The tradition, which started in 1950, reflects the strong ties between the two militaries. Gen K M Cariappa was the first Indian Army chief to be decorated with the title in 1950. In January last year, Nepali Army chief Gen Purna Chandra Thapa was also made the honorary General of the Indian Army by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony in New Delhi.”
The Indian Embassy, in a statement said that Gen Naravane conveyed his gratitude for the honour bestowed upon him to President Bhandari and discussed with her measures to further enhance bilateral cooperation.
Earlier in the day, he met his Nepalese counterpart Gen Thapa at the Chief of Army Staff’s office and discussed measures to further bolster the relations shared by the two armies.
As per Nepal Army headquarters’ press statement, “They exchanged views on issues of bilateral interests and discussed measures to further strengthen the existing bond of friendship and cooperation between the two armies.” Gen Naravane paid homage at the martyrs’ memorial in the Army Pavilion.