Kathmandu, March 13 (IANS) Nepal's new Defence Minister Ishwor Pokhrel on Tuesday pledged to strengthen military and defence ties with India.
He made the remarks during a meeting with Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri. Pokhrel said that Nepal-India ties were "time tested" and thanked India for providing various kinds of assistance to the Nepal Army for its capacity building, among others.
"My impression is that both the Defence Ministries of Nepal and India are very much eager to boost ties and work closely," said Pokhrel.
Among other things, the upcoming 12th edition of Nepal-India military drills named Surya-Kiran, also figured in the meeting. India is hosting the joint military drill this time.
On his part, Puri highlighted the various facets of bilateral ties between the two countries which are "unique" and "special".
Puri appreciated the role of the Nepal Army in providing global peace and security and assured that Indian assistance to Nepal Army like imparting training, providing military hardware and other kind of assistance will continue.
Currently, there are 39 battalions serving in 7 Gorkha regiments in the Indian Army. The regiments comprise of both Indian and Nepali Gorkha soldiers. Also, there are about 90,000 Indian Army pensioners in Nepal.
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