Lotay Tshering
Bhutan Prime Minister Dr Tshering meets Vijay Keshav Gokhale, Foreign Secretary to Government of India in New Delhi on Thursday. Image credit - Twitter

Bhutan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering on Thursday reached New Delhi on a three-day official visit to India.

On the first day of his visit on Thursday, Bhutan Prime Minister Dr Tshering met Vijay Keshav Gokhale, Foreign Secretary to Government of India in New Delhi in the afternoon.

The Bhutan PM’s visit takes place during the Golden Jubilee year of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Also read: Bhutan PM Lotay Tshering to visit India

According to media reports, Dr Tshering will be accorded ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday. He will call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

Dr Tshering will also pay homage to Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and have talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It has been reported that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and Power Minister RK Singh are also scheduled to meet the visiting Bhutan PM.

This is the first visit of Dr Tshering abroad after assuming office as the Bhutan PM, which shows the importance Bhutan attaches to relations with India.

A Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement read as: “The state visit is taking place during the golden jubilee year of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan.”

A report published on Thursday by India Today stated that the new Government had a surprise win in the Bhutanese elections toppling the previous Tshering Tobgay administration. But foreign policy and ties between India and Bhutan has been a continuum between the two nations.

The report quoted sources as saying that both sides will focus on development and infrastructure projects, including hydro-power projects. The primary objective would be to conclude discussions over development assistance package for Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (November 2017-October 2023).

Calling it a “goodwill” visit, the MEA in a statement said, “India and Bhutan enjoy exemplary ties of friendship and cooperation, based on utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding at all levels. The upcoming visit of the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering will provide an opportunity to the two sides to review the progress in our multifaceted partnership and to discuss ways and means to expand the enduring ties of friendship and cooperation for the benefit of the two peoples.”

NE NOW NEWS

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