India looks to army chief’s visit to Nepal to bring ties back on even keel

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India is looking to army chief Gen MM Naravane’s upcoming visit to Nepal to help put bilateral ties back on an even keel after a bitter border row, especially by building on the traditionally strong ties between the two armies, people familiar with developments said on Friday.

Naravane is expected to be in Nepal during Nov 4-6, when he will meet his Nepalese counterpart Gen Purna Chandra Thapa and top civilian leaders. Nepal’s President Vidya Devi Bhandari will also confer the honorary rank of general of the Nepali Army to Naravane at an investiture ceremony.

Ahead of Naravane’s trip, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Samant Kumar Goel made a low-key visit to Kathmandu on Thursday during which he met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

Oli’s spokesman Surya Thapa was quoted by media as saying that Goel’s discussions with Oli focussed on not allowing any “interruption in friendly relations between Nepal and India [and] resolving all outstanding issues through dialogue and continuing mutual cooperation”.

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