Foreign Secretary Kwatra meets Bhutan King Wangchuck; discusses ways to deepen ‘unique ties of friendship’

Kwatra also held bilateral consultations with Bhutan Foreign Secretary of Bhutan Aum Pema Choden

Updated - January 31, 2024 07:03 am IST

Published - January 31, 2024 02:14 am IST - Thimphu

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra called on  Bhutan Foreign Minister Lyonpo D.N. Dhungyel, in Thimphu.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra called on Bhutan Foreign Minister Lyonpo D.N. Dhungyel, in Thimphu. | Photo Credit: ANI

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on January 30 called on Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and discussed ways to further deepen the "unique ties of friendship" between the two nations.

Mr. Kwatra arrived in Thimphu on Monday on a three-day trip, in the first high-level visit from India after the formation of a new government under People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tshering Tobgay.

"The visit is in keeping with the well-established tradition of regular exchanges between Bhutan and India, and to further strengthen the existing close ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Following his meeting with the King, Mr. Kwatra posted on X: "An honour to receive the audience from His Majesty the King of Bhutan and benefit from his guidance on ways to further deepen the India-Bhutan unique ties of friendship." He also shared some photographs of the meeting.

On Monday, Mr. Kwatra called on Prime Minister Tobgay at the Prime Minister’s Office in Gyalyong Tshogkhang. The meeting discussed various areas of mutual interest and cooperation between Bhutan and India.

The Prime Minister also hosted a dinner for the Foreign Secretary and his delegation at his residence.

During his Bhutan visit, Mr. Kwatra also held bilateral consultations with Foreign Secretary of Bhutan Aum Pema Choden. A wide-ranging discussion on multifaceted cooperation between India and Bhutan in development partnership, space, energy, trade, technology, economic ties, and people-to-people ties, the Indian embassy here said on Monday.

The Foreign Secretary's Bhutan visit "provided an opportunity for wide-ranging discussions on all aspects of the bilateral relationship including development partnership, 13th Five Year Plan, cooperation in energy, trade, technology, connectivity, infrastructure, economic ties, and people-to-people connections between the two countries," the MEA statement said.

Mr. Kwatra's visit comes against the backdrop of China and Bhutan looking at an expeditious resolution of their festering boundary row that could have implications for India's security interests.

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