US concerned for peace in Indo-Pacific region says Commander Davidson in Nepal

By Shirish B Pradhan
    Kathmandu, Jan 11 (PTI) The US is concerned for peace in the strategic Indo-Pacific region, a top American commander said here Friday as he called on Prime Minister K P Oli on the last day of his two-day visit to Nepal.
    Admiral Philip S Davidson, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, also called on Defense Minister Ishwor Pokharel and discussed ways to strengthen the partnership between the two countries' armies.
    He said the US government was concerned for peace in the Indo-Pacific region.
    "Since I have greater responsibility as the commander of the US Indo-Pacific, I am concerned about the peace in the Indo-Pacific region," he was quoted as saying in a Defence Ministry statement.
    The commander's remarks came amid growing Chinese assertiveness in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.
    The US commander also called on Prime Minister Oli and visited the Birendra Peace Operations Training Center at Panchkhal, it said.
    During his meeting with Pokharel, Davidson appreciated the Nepal Army's contribution to the world peace, saying it has "helped establish its positive image across the world."
    Pokharel lauded the joint military trainings being held by Nepal and the US. He urged the US government to assist Nepal in the skill development sector of Nepal Army, upgradation of Birendra Peace Operations Training Center and logistics required for disaster management.
    Davidson, commander of America's oldest and largest military command based in Hawaii who arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday, also held discussions with Nepal Army Chief General Purna Chandra Thapa on cooperation between the two armies.
    Thapa will be conferred with the honorary rank of 'General of Indian Army' by President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday.
    The Army Chief begins his four-day India visit on Saturday during which he will hold wide-ranging talks with top brass of the Indian Army with an aim to further expand bilateral military cooperation.
    "Such types of high level visits of the two countries will further strengthen military ties between the two countries," Nepal Army said in a statement.
    Admiral Davidson returned home on Friday wrapping up his two-day official visit to Nepal, it said.
    Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was conferred with the title of honourary general of the Nepal Army by Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari during his visit to the country in 2017. PTI SBP MRJ AKJ MRJ