Gurkhas pass out at Catterick 151119 CREDIT BFBS
Gurkhas

Nepal Calls For Review Of Gurkha Recruitment Deal

There around 3,000 Nepalis in the Brigade of Gurkhas who have fought in conflicts including Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

Gurkhas pass out at Catterick 151119 CREDIT BFBS

Nepal wants to review its Gurkha deal with the UK ahead of allowing female recruits to join the British Army, the country's foreign minister has said. 

Nepali women could begin joining the Army for the first time in 2020, however, issues including retirement and selection standards still need to be decided.

Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Nepal's foreign minister, said the current deal that was agreed in 1947 does not allow Kathmandu to play any role in the recruitment process.

"[Some] provisions of that agreement have become irrelevant now," Mr Gyawali told Reuters.

"Therefore, we have told Britain that we should review it... make bilateral arrangements.

"We should define the presence of the government of Nepal in the [recruitment] process."

A long selection process to become a Gurkha is held in Nepal every year.

Mr Gyawali also said a new agreement should address issues such as pensions for Gurkha personnel.

He added that retired servicemen say they are not on par their with their British counterparts.

There are around 3,000 Nepalis in the Brigade of Gurkhas who have fought in conflicts including Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman told Forces News: "Gurkhas have made a huge contribution to the Armed Forces for more than 200 years and we are proud that so many Gurkhas serve in the British Army.

"All ground close combat roles in the British Army are now open to women.

"We are discussing with the government of Nepal our aspiration to extend the opportunity for Nepali women to join the Gurkhas."

Earlier this year, the British Army had its biggest intake of Gurkha recruits in 30 years.

In March, it was also announced that Gurkha veterans would receive a £15 million overall pension increase.

Cover Image: Gurkhas pass out at Catterick Garrison.