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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Modi's visit boosts traditional bonds of friendship: Bhutan

PTI  Thimphu, June 20, 2014
First Published: 15:39 IST(20/6/2014) | Last Updated: 14:08 IST(23/6/2014)

Terming Prime Minister Narender Modi's recent visit to Bhutan as most successful, his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay has said it helped to renew and strengthen the traditional bonds of friendship and understanding between the two nations.

The visit also provided an opportunity for both the countries to review the entire spectrum of bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments of mutual interest, Tobgay said addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament on Thursday.

"Prime Minister Modi's meetings with both His Majesty the King (Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck) and His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo further helped to renew and strengthen the traditional bonds of friendship, cooperation and understanding between Bhutan and India," he said.

Modi visited Bhutan on June 15-16, his first foreign destination since he took over, with a focus on making development cooperation with the land-locked neighbouring country more effective.

Tobgay said Modi's tour was most successful, adding that the "exchanges of such high-level visits between the two countries pervade the essence of the special and unique relationship between Bhutan and India and are the fountainhead of the wide gamut of our relations".

He thanked King Wangchuck for inviting Modi to visit Bhutan.

"Prime Minister Modi and his delegation were touched and impressed by the warm welcome and hospitality," Tobgay said.

He said that the credit for progress in Bhutan's development process belongs not only to the country but equally to the government and people of India without whose generous support "our task would have been most difficult".

He thanked India for its support to the 11th Five Year Plan and the economic stimulus package "to boost our economy and in jointly developing our hydropower".

India has allocated Rs. 45 billion for the 11th Five Year Plan and Rs. 5 billion for the economic stimulus plan of Bhutan.

"The government on its part is committed to take Bhutan's relationship with India to the front rank of our bilateral partnership," Tobgay said.


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