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Jaishankar’s first bilateral visit to Bhutan from Friday

The external affairs ministry in a statement said that during the visit Jaishankar would call on Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and meet his counterpart Tandi Dorji.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2019 00:53 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Modi cabinet,s jaishankar,EAM
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addresses during The Growth Net Summit 7.0, in New Delhi, Thursday, June 06, 2019. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)(PTI6_6_2019_000032B)(PTI)

External affairs minister S Jaishankar will embark on a two-day visit to Bhutan from Friday, his first bilateral trip after assuming charge of the ministry, the government said.

The external affairs ministry in a statement said that during the visit Jaishankar would call on Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and meet his counterpart Tandi Dorji.

“This is Dr Jaishankar’s first visit abroad as the external affairs minister and reflects the importance that India attaches to its bilateral relationship with Bhutan, a close friend and neighbour,” the statement read.

The ministry further stated that during the visit, the two sides will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including upcoming high-level exchanges, economic development and hydro-power cooperation.

“India and Bhutan share a unique and time tested bilateral relationship, characterised by utmost trust, goodwill, and mutual understanding,” it said.

Meanwhile, speaking at an event in New Delhi on Thursday, Jaishankar said that most Indians recognise that India’s global stature has risen in the last five years and this played a role in the NDA government retaining power for a second consecutive term.

A “global rebalancing” is taking place and its “sharpest manifestation” is the rise of China and, to an extent, the rise of India as well, Jaishankar said during an interaction at a seminar.

“A large majority of people in India recognised that India’s stature in the world has risen in the last five years,” the minister said, adding that the government has kept alive and perhaps even strengthened expectations of change in India.

The government looks different from outside than from inside, Jaishankar, who served as foreign secretary from 2015-18, said without elaborating.

In his first public event after becoming the external affairs minister, he also said the elections were a vote of confidence in the management of national security and foreign policy was integrated with it.

In addition to this, a large part of India’s economy has been externalised and there is need for India’s foreign policy to help Indian companies gain better access to overseas markets. Jaishankar was addressing The Growth Net Summit 7.0, being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Ananta Centre.

The minister said he will continue with his predecessor Sushma Swaraj’s social media outreach to help Indians abroad. He said “enormous emphasis” will be given to Indians in distress and they now expect the government to reach out to them.

This has changed the image of the foreign ministry, he added. The external affairs minister also called for greater integration between government departments to create a stronger focus on the economic issues being faced by Indian companies, especially in overseas markets.

First Published: Jun 07, 2019 00:53 IST