Indian Foreign Secretary to arrive in Bhutan | india | Hindustan Times
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Indian Foreign Secretary to arrive in Bhutan

Shyam Saran is expected to meet King Jigme Wangchuk and hold talks with senior officials on an entire range of bilateral issues.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 18:00 IST

India and Bhutan will cement their ties and discuss steps to boost cooperation in areas ranging from development to hydro-power generation when Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran goes to Bhutan on Tuesday.

Saran is expected to meet Bhutanese monarch King Jigme Singye Wangchuk and hold talks with senior officials on an entire range of bilateral issues, including India's considerable developmental assistance to a kingdom already on its way to democracy.

"The foreign secretary's forthcoming visit is part of our regular high-level exchanges with Bhutan and they serve to further strengthen and consolidate the relationship in all areas," external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna told reporters on Monday.

India has hailed the dramatic decision of Wangchuk to abdicate in favour of his son in 2008 and make a transition to democracy that year.

India shares a nearly 700-km-long border with Bhutan.

The kingdom's foreign policy is guided by India, which also contributes substantially to its development budget.

India recently provided an assistance package worth $450 million to Bhutan for its ninth five-year plan ending 2007.