Prime Minister Narendra Modi and King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck held a bilateral meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Bhutanese King is on a three-day visit to India. “The two leaders covered the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and issues of national statements,” Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said after the meeting.
India and Bhutan enjoy unique ties of friendship and cooperation, which are characterized by understanding and mutual trust. The visit would provide an opportunity to both the sides to review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and to further advance the close bilateral partnership, including economic and development cooperation.
Briefing media in New Delhi, External Affairs Secretary Kwatra said, King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck briefed Modi about the reforms initiatives taken by Bhutan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also reiterated India’s full support for socio-economic development of Bhutan. He said, both the countries reviewed their bilateral ties focusing on economic and development partnership, trade facilitation measures and cooperation in trade, connectivity, investment, energy and new sectors including space and startups.
The King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is on a special visit to India. His ongoing visit was long in the planning and takes forward the long exchanges between India & Bhutan: Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra at the Media Briefing @MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/UY5vnrPRvw
— Prasar Bharati News Services & Digital Platform (@PBNS_India) April 4, 2023
Kwatra stated that India would increase its support for the next 13th five-year plan of Bhutan. India, he added, will endeavour to extend a further standby credit facility and create long-term, sustainable arrangements for Bhutan’s export of agricultural products. He said, the country would also work to develop long-term bilateral arrangements for assured supply of critical commodities like petroleum and coal.
Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said, both the countries are examining and considering setting up the first Integrated Check Post along India-Bhutan border, which would be near Jaigaon. India and Bhutan will also expedite the proposed Kokrajhar-Gelephu rail link project through Government of India support in consultation with the Bhutanese side. This will be historic because it will be the first ever rail link between India and Bhutan, Kwatra said.