KATHMANDU: Chief of Army Staff Rajendra Chhetri on Monday left for India on his first official visit to the southern neighbour.

Lieutenant General Baldev Raj Mahat, Defence Secretary Jaya Mukunda Khanal, Indian Embassy's Deputy Head of mission Vinay Kumar and other high army officials saw the Army Chief off at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Chhetri is leading a nine-member delegation to India on a five-day visit. According to Nepali Army Directorate of Public Relations, the CoAS was officially invited by the Indian Army General Dalbir Singh. During his visit, Chhetri will receive the title of Honorary General of Indian Army from India’s President Pranab Mukherjee. He would also hold meetings with chiefs of Indian Air Force and Navy, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj among others, the statement said. The CoAS will also convey greetings to the Indian officials on behalf of the President Bidya Devi Bhandari and the government. Chhetri will also observe various Indian army units during the visit. "The Nepal Army believes that the tradition of exchanging the honorary titles between chiefs the Nepal Army and the Indian Army helps to strengthen the ties between the two countries," the statement read. Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Mahat will assume responsibilities of the CoAS in Chhetri's absence.