Prime Minister Modi calls on King of Bhutan, discuss ways to further 'transformative partnership'

PM Modi called on Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck here on Friday and the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and discussed ways to further the "transformative partnership".
PM Narendra Modi's state visit of Bhutan
PM Narendra Modi's state visit of Bhutan

Thimphu | Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck here on Friday and the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and discussed ways to further the "transformative partnership".

Modi is currently in the Himalayan nation on a two-day State visit.

His visit seeks to further cement India's unique and enduring relations with the Himalayan nation as part of the country's 'Neighbourhood First' Policy.

Prime Minister Modi "thanked His Majesty for the exceptional public welcome accorded to him, with people greeting him all along the journey from Paro to Thimphu," India's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

"Prime Minister and His Majesty the King of Bhutan expressed deep satisfaction at the close and unique India-Bhutan friendship," it said.

The Prime Minister conveyed his appreciation for the "guiding vision provided by the successive Druk Gyalpos in shaping close ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries".

India and Bhutan "enjoy unique ties" of friendship and cooperation, which are characterised by mutual trust and understanding, the MEA said.

The meeting provided an opportunity to "review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation," it said.

"Recalling that Bharat for Bhutan and Bhutan for Bharat was an abiding reality, the two leaders discussed ways to further the transformative partnership. They explored initiatives to expand bilateral collaboration in the fields of energy, development cooperation, youth, education, entrepreneurship and skill development, the MEA statement said.

The two leaders also discussed progress in connectivity and investment proposals including in the context of the Gelephu Mindfulness City project.

Modi was accorded a grand welcome at Tashichho Dzong before receiving an audience with the King.

Hours after his arrival earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi said he was grateful to the Bhutanese people for according to him a "memorable welcome" to their beautiful country and asserted that may India-Bhutan friendship "keep scaling new heights".

"I am grateful to the people of Bhutan, especially the young children, for the memorable welcome to their beautiful country," Modi wrote in a post on 'X' and also shared pictures of him interacting with a cross-section of people of Bhutan.

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 said in a statement.

Later in another statement, the MEA said, Prime Minister Modi "received an audience with His Majesty, The Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in Thimphu, Bhutan, today".

The Fourth King of Bhutan extended a warm welcome to Prime Minister Modi on his visit to Bhutan.

"Prime Minister Modi thanked His Majesty, The Fourth King for his leadership, vision and contributions to the strengthening of India-Bhutan relations," it added.

Both leaders held discussions on "wide-ranging issues" related to the India-Bhutan ties of friendship and cooperation as well as on regional issues of mutual interest.

"The India-Bhutan partnership is characterised by utmost trust, goodwill, and mutual understanding at all levels, which is reinforced by vibrant people-to-people relations," the statement said.

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