The visit is expected to act as a catalyst for closer coordination and cooperation between the two countries

Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane is in Bangladesh on a five-day visit till April 12 to enhance defence cooperation and strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations.

The Indian Chief of Army Staff's visit comes in the midst of the Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations which mark 50 years of the liberation of Bangladesh, made possible by the historic leadership of the Bôngobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the heroics of the Mukti Bahini who fought shoulder to shoulder with the Indian Armed Forces.

On the first day of his visit on Thursday, Gen Naravane paid tribute to the martyrs of the Liberation War by laying a wreath at the Shikha Anirban. He also received a guard of honour at Sena Kunj, the Indian Army said on Twitter.

This will be followed by one-to-one meetings with the three Service Chiefs of Bangladesh’s Armed Forces.

He will also visit the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi, where he will pay tributes to Bangladesh's founding father.

On April 11, the COAS will interact with Bangladesh's Minister of Foreign Affairs at Bangladesh Army's Multipurpose Complex in Dhaka where he will attend a seminar on UN Peace Support Operations and deliver a keynote address on “Changing Nature of Global Conflicts: Role of UN Peacekeepers”.

During his visit, General Naravane is also scheduled to interact with the Force Commanders of the United Nations Missions in Mali, South Sudan and Central African Republic and the Deputy Chief Operations Officer of the Royal Bhutanese Army on April 12.

He will also attend the closing ceremony of Exercise Shantir Ogrosena, a multilateral UN-mandated counterterrorism exercise comprising the Armed Forces of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka along with observers from the US, UK, Turkey and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia among others.

The Army Chief will also witness the innovations of the Bangladeshi Armed Forces personnel during the Hardware Display. He will interact with the members of Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support and Training Operations (BIPSOT) during the last leg of his visit.

“This visit will further deepen the bilateral relationships between the two Armies and act as a catalyst for closer coordination and cooperation between the two countries on a host of strategic issues,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, an Indian Army delegation arrived in Dhaka on April 4 to participate in multinational military exercise 'Shantir Ogrosena 2021' (Front Runner of the Peace).

The exercise is being held from April 4-12 to mark the birth centenary of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the liberation of Bangladesh.