New Delhi: The US, Russia, Australia, Israel and France, and closer home, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Taiwan and the armed forces of Pakistan expressed condolences on the death of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others in a chopper crash.
The U.S. Embassy in a message extended deepest condolences to the Rawat family and the families of those who perished in the tragic helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu.
The US described him as a strong friend and partner of the United States, overseeing a major expansion of India’s defense cooperation with the U.S. military. In September, he spent five days traveling throughout the US as part of a counterpart visit with General Mark Milley to discuss military developments and opportunities to enhance our cooperation with like-minded countries. His legacy will continue on, it said.
The Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said that “Russia has lost a very close friend, who played a big role in promotion of our bilateral special and privileged strategic partnership. Grieving together with India. Goodbye, friend! Farewell, commander!”
Israel Defence Minister Benny Gantz in a tweet said: “I would like extend condolences on behalf of Israel’s defense establishment & to express my personal grief to the people of India & to the Indian defense establishment on the loss of Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife & others who perished in the tragic accident.”
Naor Gilon, the Israeli Ambassador to India, said: “I am deeply shocked & saddened by the tragic death of CDS Gen. #Bipin_Rawat, his wife, and 11 army personnel who were killed in the tragic chopper crash.
“The people of Israel stand side by side with the Indian people & government in mourning the death of Indian heroes. Om Shanti.”
The Israel embassy in India said: “We would like to express our deepest condolences on the tragic loss of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and the victims who died in the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor. We stand with the Indian people at this difficult hour. Om Shanti”
Former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said: “I was deeply saddened to learn about the deadly helicopter crash that killed India’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others in Tamil Nadu.”
The Australian High Commissioner Barry O’ Farrell in tweets said he was deeply saddened to hear the terrible news of the helicopter accident involving CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife, staff and Air Force crew.
“Our deepest sympathies to the families of CDS General Bipin Rawat, Madhulika Rawat & others on the helicopter.
“The Australia- India #defence relationship have thrived during General Rawat’s tenure. #RIP #bipinrawat“.
Emmanuel Lenain, the French Ambassador in India, in a message said:”Deeply saddened by the tragic demise of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and several defence officials in a crash. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families & the Indian Armed Forces.
We will remember CDS Rawat as a great military leader & a supporter of France-India defence ties.”
The spokesperson of the Pakistan Army Major General Babar Iftikhar said: “General Nadeem Raza, CJCSC & General Qamar Javed Bajwa, COAS express condolences on tragic death of #CDS General #BipinRawat, his wife and loss of precious lives in a helicopter crash in India.”
The Pakistani Air Force tweeted: “Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, NI(M) Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Air Force; has expressed his condolences on the tragic death of Indian CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his spouse, and 11 other passengers/crew members in the helicopter crash today.”
The Singapore mission in India said: “Saddened to learn that Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Rawat & 11 others on board have passed. Had the honour of mtg Gen Rawat several times. His vision, candour & warmth will be missed. Deepest condolences to all grieving this terrible loss.”
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said: “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. “
Former Maldives President and current Speaker, Mohamed Nasheed said : “Very sad to hear about the death of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and his wife. My thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends.”
The Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Didi in message said: “Deeply shocked by the tragic news of the sad demise of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat & Madam Rawat. We have lost a good friend who worked hard to further Maldives-India Defence Partnership. Our heartfelt condolences to the India Armed Forces & his loved ones.”
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said: “Shocked & saddened to hear the tragic news of the untimely death of #India’s first CDS General #BipinRawat, his wife & several members of his staff. Our heartfelt condolences go out to all the families who lost their loved ones, the government & people of #India.”
The Taiwan Foreign Ministry said: “Our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends & loved ones of Gen. Bipin Rawat, chief of defense staff, his wife & 11 others who lost their lives in the tragic helicopter crash. Taiwan grieves with India at this difficult time.”
The Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering in a tweet said: “Heartaching to learn of helicopter crash in India, claiming 13 precious lives, including the Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat and wife. People of Bhutan and I offer prayers for India and the bereaved families. May you find strength to see through the tragedy.” (UNI)