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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

World

PM wraps up three-day Bhutan visit
Sagar Kulkarni, PTI
Thimphu, April 30, 2010
First Published: 11:40 IST(30/4/2010)
Last Updated: 11:41 IST(30/4/2010)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today wrapped up his three-day visit to Bhutan which saw India and Pakistan agreeing to move ahead with the stalled peace talks.

Prime Minister Singh left this morning for New Delhi from Paro International airport, about 60 km from Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital.

Singh was here to participate in the 16th SAARC Summit where leaders vowed to root out terrorism and signed a trade agreement aimed at opening new vistas in economic integration.

Singh also met his Pakistan counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the summit where they decided to keep the channels of dialogue open to restore "trust and confidence".

The Prime Minister also met leaders from countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and discussed the bilateral issues.

Today, Singh held bilateral talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Jigmi Thinley during which the two countries signed implementation agreements for Punatsangchhu-II and Mangdechhu hydroelectric project with a combined capacity of 1710 MW.

The agreements were signed by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Bhutanese counterpart Khandu Wangchuk in the presence of the two prime ministers.

Taking India-Bhutan ties a step further, Prime Minister Singh laid the foundation stone of a state-of-the-art medical college and launched a project that would make half of the population of this tiny nation computer literate in the next five years.

Singh and Thinley unveiled the foundation stones of the Bhutan Institute of Medical Sciences and that of the two hydroelectric projects.

Singh also had an audience with fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and shared views on the just-concluded SAARC Summit and praised the "splendid" hospitality extended by Bhutan.


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