Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Friday announced the setting of a Parliamentary Friendship Group to help reinforce and renew the bonds of friendship between India and Bhutan.

Addressing a joint session of the Bhutanese Parliament, Ms. Kumar recalled the close economic partnership as well as cultural and educational exchanges between the two countries. It was a great privilege for India to extend support to the people of Bhutan in their “peaceful march towards democracy,'' she said.

The Speaker lauded the concept of “gross national happiness' adopted by Bhutan. India and the world at large had much to learn from this country, she said.

Ms. Kumar is on a visit to Bhutan, leading a high level parliamentary delegation. She is the first Lok Sabha Speaker to address a joint session of the Bhutanese Parliament.

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