US commander arrives, multinational drill from Monday

KATHMANDU: United States Pacific Command (USPACOM)'s Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr arrived here in the capital on Sunday to take part in a multinational military drill for peacekeeping, Nepal Army said.

Exercise Shanti Prayas III is kicking off at the Nepal Army's Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre tomorrow with participation of 1024 army personnel from 28 countries.

Admiral Harris was received by Lt Gen Purna Chandra Thapa at the Tribhuvan International Airport.

Nepal Army and UPSACOM are jointly organising the multinational military exercise which aims at enhancing peacekeeping capabilities prior to being deployed for peacekeeping missions under the United Nations, the Nepal Army's Directorate of Public Relations said.

The third edition of Exercise Shanti Prayas, which serves as US Pacific Command’s annual capstone for the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) programme, will conclude on April 3.

The US commander is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat and Defence Minister Bal Krishna Khand during his three-day Nepal stay.

Lankan army chief returns 

Meanwhile, the visiting chief of Sri Lankan army, Lieutenant General AWJ Crishanthe De Silva, wrapped up his Nepal visit and returned home.

Major General Binod Kumar Shrestha saw off him at the TIA earlier today.