UK General Patrick Sanders Engages in Bilateral Talks During Nepal Visit
Kathmandu — In a significant diplomatic development, the Chief of the General Staff of the United Kingdom, General Patrick Sanders, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Purna Bahadur Khadka in Kathmandu today.
According to the official Twitter account of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO Nepal), discussions during the visit encompassed areas of mutual interest and cooperation between Nepal and the UK. The British Army Chief, General Sir Patrick Sanders, also met with Deputy Prime Minister Khadka, who expressed confidence that the visit would strengthen ties between the two nations.
During the meeting, Minister Khadka emphasized the long-standing bilateral ties between Nepal and the UK, extending to a people-to-people level. Both countries, he noted, share common values in democracy, human rights, rule of law, and independence. Reflecting on the centenary celebration of the Treaty of Friendship last year, Minister Khadka remarked that it laid the groundwork for robust bilateral ties for the next century.
Acknowledging the UK as a significant development partner, Minister Khadka expressed gratitude for their support to Nepal during challenging periods. He also raised the concerns of Gurkha soldiers retired before 1997, urging a positive response and a more liberal approach from the British government.
Highlighting the importance of military exchanges between Nepal and the UK, Minister Khadka commended the contributions of the British Gurkhas and emphasized the positive collaboration between the two nations in international peace efforts. General Sanders, in response, expressed the UK’s willingness to collaborate further with Nepal, acknowledging Nepal’s significant role as the second-largest contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping mission.
The Chief of the British Armed Forces assured continued cooperation despite economic challenges, emphasizing the need for joint efforts in establishing international peace amid a complex security climate. The meeting was attended by top officials from both countries, including Defence Ministry Secretary Kiran Raj Sharma and the British Ambassador.
In parallel, Chief of the Army Staff Prabhu Ram Sharma and British Army Chief Sanders held discussions at the Army Headquarters, focusing on centuries-old mutual ties and matters of mutual interest. The visit is part of General Patrick Sanders’ six-day trip to Nepal, reinforcing diplomatic and military relations between the two nations.