US, Russia pour in condolences following death of India CDS Bipin Rawat
- US Joint Chiefs of Staff said CDS Rawat "made lasting impact on the Indian military"
- "India has lost its great patriot and dedicated hero", Maldives President said
- CDS Rawat died in a helicopted crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday
The death of India's Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat has created a ripple effect across the globe as multiple foreign officials and world leaders send in their condolences. Israel opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, United States Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Mark Milley and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih were among those who paid their respects.
In a statement, General Milley said, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and others who died in the crash. He made lasting impact on the Indian military & reinforced our strong military-to-military relationship between US & India", according to reports from ANI.
Nikolay Rishatovich Kudashev, the Russian ambassador to India, wrote in a tweet on Wednesday, "With deepest regret learnt about sadden demise of Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat & 11 other officers in the helicopter crash today. India has lost its great patriot and dedicated hero."
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih-- who took the country's top office in November 2018-- wrote in a tweet, " Saddened to hear of the tragic passing of #India's Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat. I had the honor of meeting him in 2019 - a true soldier who put service to his nation above all else. My condolences to his family and the Indian nation for their loss."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Rawat had contributed greatly to modernizing the country’s armed forces. "His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional."
Archrival Pakistan's army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, expressed his condolences on the “tragic death” of Rawat and his wife, its government said in a tweet.
Rawat, 63, was the most senior official in the Indian military and the first chief of defense staff, a position created by the government in 2019. He was also an adviser to the Defense Ministry.
(With AP inputs)