As close neighbors, India and Nepal share unique ties of friendship and cooperation

The Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane held a telephonic interaction with his Nepali counterpart General Purna Chandra Thapa on Friday. Both leaders discussed bilateral defence cooperation, the Indian army informed.

“General MM Naravane #COAS had telephonic interaction with General Purna Chandra Thapa, Chief of The Army Staff, Nepali Army and discussed aspects of bilateral #Defence cooperation. #IndiaNepalFriendship #IndianArmy,” the Indian army said in a tweet.

As close neighbors, India and Nepal share unique ties of friendship and cooperation characterized by an open border and deep-rooted people-to-people contacts of kinship and culture. Both countries have wide-ranging cooperation in the defence sector. The relationship between the armies of both sides is like a cornerstone of the already excellent defence relations.

Traditionally, the Chief of the Army Staff of the Nepali Army visits India at the earliest after assumption of the post, during which he is conferred with the rank of an ‘Honorary General’ of the Indian Army by the President of India.

In January last year, Chief of Nepali Army, General Purna Chandra Thapa, was also made the honorary General of the Indian Army by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony in New Delhi.

General Narawane also visited Nepal in November 2020. He was honored at a special ceremony at the President's official residence 'Shital Niwas' in Kathmandu.He was also presented a sword and scroll during the function. The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli, Indian Ambassador Vinay M. Kwatra and other senior officials of both the countries.

The practice follows a seven decade old tradition of conferring Army Chiefs of each other's country with the honorary title. Commander-in-Chief General KM Cariappa was the first Indian Army Chief to be decorated with the title in 1950.