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India, Bhutan to sign updated treaty of friendship

The decision to sign the new friendship treaty comes at a time when Bhutan is making a transition to Constitutional democracy.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 18:16 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

India and Bhutan are set to redefine their relationship by updating the 57-year-old Friendship Treaty to make the ties contemporary and responsive to each other's national interests.

The decision to sign the new treaty comes at a time when Bhutan is making a transition to Constitutional democracy.

The treaty "not only reflects the contemporary nature of our relationships but also lays the foundation for their future development in 21st century," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters here on Monday.

He said the treaty aims at consolidating the mutually-cooperative relationship in a manner that is responsive to and serves each other's national interests through close cooperation.

"The treaty will enable the further intensification of our relations in areas such as hydropower cooperation, trade and commerce and human resources development," Sarna said without giving much details.

The updated treaty has been finalised after a series of discussions between the two sides over the last few months.

The review was undertaken during the visit of Bhutan King Jigme Singye Wangchuk here in July, visit of Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon to Thimpu in October and visit of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee last month.

The revised treaty will be signed when Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, the future king and son of Jigme Singye, visits New Delhi. Dates for it are to be worked out.

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