PM Modi Concludes Fruitful two-day State Visit To Bhutan

PM Modi Concludes Fruitful two-day State Visit To Bhutan

March 26, 2024, 8:41 a.m.

In a special gesture, the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck as well .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday assured Bhutan’s top leadership that India will stand by the Himalayan kingdom in its quest for development and that their unique bilateral ties would create avenues for greater cooperation in connectivity, infrastructure, trade and energy sectors.

Prime Minister Modi is here on a two-day State visit to further cement India’s unique relations with Bhutan as part of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy.

The two countries exchanged several MoUs and signed agreements in the fields of energy, trade, digital connectivity, space and agriculture, and finalised the MoU on the establishment of rail links between the two nations.

Modi called on the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and held talks with Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

“Glad to have met His Majesty the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. We talked about ways to improve bilateral relations between our nations,” Modi posted on X.

“In Bhutan, held productive talks with PM @tsheringtobgay. We reviewed the complete range of India-Bhutan friendship, and agreed to boost our developmental partnership as well as deepen cultural linkages,” he wrote on his meeting with his Bhutanese counterpart.

This was Modi’s second meeting with his Bhutanese counterpart this month.

Tobgay visited New Delhi last week, his first foreign trip after assuming the charge of the top office in January.

Modi said the MoUs and agreements will add momentum to India-Bhutan relations.

“To fulfil your goals, India stands with you for BB – Brand Bhutan and Bhutan Believe. I assure you that the upcoming 5 years will give a new energy to our relations. We will work to create avenues in the connectivity, infrastructure, trade and energy sectors,” Modi said in his address after being bestowed Bhutan’s highest civilian award.

“Aspirations of Bharat and Bhutan are similar. We’ve decided to build Viksit Bharat by 2047; Bhutan has decided to become a ‘high-income’ nation by 2034. To fulfil your goals, India stands with you in ‘Brand Bhutan’ and ‘Bhutan Believe’,” Modi said.

“The Bharat-Bhutan partnership is not limited to land and water… Bhutan is now a partner of Bharat in its space missions. Scientists of Bhutan have launched satellites in collaboration with ISRO. We celebrate each other’s achievements,” he said.

Modi was conferred the ‘Order of the Druk Gyalpo,’ making him the first foreign Head of the Government to receive the honour.

The award recognises Prime Minister Modi’s contribution to strengthening the India-Bhutan friendship and his people-centric leadership.

“Honoured to be conferred with ‘Order of the Druk Gyalpo’ Award by Bhutan. I dedicate it to 140 crore Indians,” Modi posted on X soon after.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Fifth King of Bhutan, who presented him with the honour, and members of the royal family were also present on the occasion.

Starting his address after receiving the honour with the same sentiment, dedicating the award to 140 crore Indians, Modi said the affinity between the people of India and Bhutan makes their bilateral relationship unique while emphasising that “Bharat” resides in people’s hearts in this Himalayan nation.

Modi addressed the gathering as “My dear friends of Bhutan” and greeted them with a ‘namaskar’, receiving applause from the audience.

“We collaborate and celebrate each other’s successes.When India’s mission Chandrayaan was successful, the people of Bhutan were as happy as the people of India were,” he said.

“Your Majesty, you’re taking forward the rich culture of Bhutan with a modern vision. Your efforts are promoting ‘innovation’ along with ‘inner joy’ in Bhutan.

Bhutan has given the world the concept of ‘Gross National Happiness’. I am confident that Bhutan’s ‘Mindfulness City’ will also become an inspiration for the world.”

Modi, speaking in Hindi, asserted that “Our ties are inseparable. Our friendship is inseparable. Our mutual cooperation is inseparable. And, the main thing is our faith is unwavering. And, that is why this day is very special for me.”

People from Bhutan dressed in their native wear and holding flags of both countries clapped intermittently as Modi addressed them.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today arrived in Bhutan on a two-day State visit to further cement India's unique relations with the Himalayan nation as part of the country's 'Neighbourhood First' Policy.

PM Modi was accorded a red-carpet welcome upon his arrival at the Paro airport.

He was warmly received by Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister of Bhutan, at Paro airport and accorded a ceremonial welcome.

Prime Minister Modi received a warm welcome, with the Bhutanese people lining the entire 45-kilometre route from Paro International Airport to Thimphu which was also decked up with Indian and Bhutanese flags.

The visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between India and Bhutan and the Government's emphasis on its Neighbourhood First Policy, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a release on Friday.

The Bhutanese prime minister wrote on X in Hindi: "Bhutan mein aapka swagat hai mere bade bhai @narendramodi Ji."

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