British chief of the defence staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, who arrived today at the invitation of chief of army staff General Prajwalla Sumsher JB Rana, expressed readiness in continuing and reinforcing good relations between the armed forces of the two countries.

“We look forward to continuing our good relationship and to reinforcing the historical ties between the armed forces of two countries,” Boyce said in a statement upon his arrival. “During the next four days, I shall meet the prime minister and members of the Royal Nepal Army, British Gurkhas Nepal and Gurkha Welfare Schemes.”

Saying that he has been asked about the British Gurkhas, Boyce, in his first visit to the country, said they are “respected as an integral and valued part” of the British army and “much loved” by the British public. He also highlighted the “high standards” and “professionalism” of the Gurkha soldiers.

This “long planned” visit of the British defence chief comes as a part of the tradition of regular contact and exchange of visits between senior officers of the armed forces of the two countries. General Rana, continuing the practise, had visited the UK last summer.

Admiral Boyce’s visit comes close to Deuba’s trip to the UK where he sought Britain’s assistance in fighting terrorism in the country. In response, the UK agreed to create conducive atmosphere in favour of Nepal.

“The British Gurkhas are worth approximately £ 60 million per year to Nepal, and at this difficult time for the country and the people, I believe it is vital that we do all we can to ensure the Gurkhas retain their respected role in the British army,” Boyce said adding: “I am very pleased to have this opportunity to enhance that relationship.