New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) The Indian Army chief, Gen. Bikram Singh, left Tuesday on a four-day visit to Nepal during which he will also be conferred the honorary rank of a Nepalese Army general.
Gen. Bikram Singh will be in Nepal till July 13 during which he will meet Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav, who will confer the honorary rank, an officer at the Indian Army headquarters here said.
The Indian and the Nepalese armies traditionally honour each other's chiefs by conferring the honorary rank of general on each other.
The Nepalese Army chief was similarly conferred the honorary rank of general of the Indian Army by President Pratibha Patil in December 2009.
The Indian army chief's visit assumes special significance in the light of enhanced defence cooperation between the two countries and growing bilateral relationship with Nepal.
Gen. Bikram Singh will also call on Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, apart from the Himalayan nation's army chief Gen. Chhatra Man Singh Gurung.
Discussions on enhancing defence cooperation in the fields of training and courses, UN peace keeping, disaster management, sports, adventure activities and defence industry cooperation are likely during this visit.
Gen. Bikram Singh will also visit various Nepal Army training establishments including the Birendra Peacekeeping Training Centre at Panchkhal and the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Mustang.
He will also inspect the Indian Army Pension Camp and Nepal Army's western divisional headquarters in Pokhara Thursday.
He will also visit the birth place of Lord Buddha in Lumbini and also address the 19th command and staff course cadets of the Nepalese Army Friday.
There have been a series of high-level visits between the two countries to build up trust and mutual confidence.
The last visit by an Indian Army chief to Nepal was in April when Gen. V.K. Singh was there to attend a military seminar there.
Both sides have indicated a desire to work towards building a mutually beneficial defence cooperation.
Sustained cooperation between the two armies is ongoing in the fields of training, visits, equipment cooperation and miscellaneous mutually beneficial activities.
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