Tue, 04 Oct 2022

New Delhi [India], September 14 (ANI): Hailing close standing ties between India and Bhutan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed various ideas to further strengthen the close and unique friendship between India and Bhutan as he met with His Majesty the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, "Had a warm meeting with His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Discussed various ideas to strengthen the close and unique India-Bhutan friendship further. Conveyed my appreciation for the guiding vision by successive Druk Gyalpos in shaping our relations," as he hailed strong ties between India and Bhutan.

According to an official statement, both leaders discussed various ideas to strengthen the close and unique India-Bhutan friendship further.

Moreover, PM Modi has also conveyed his appreciation for the guiding vision provided by successive Druk Gyalpos in shaping relations between India and Bhutan.

Wangchuck also met Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra during the visit.

Bhutan on Tuesday ratified the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement.

"Ambassador of Bhutan to India Maj Gen Vetsop Namgyel handed over the instrument of ratification to Secretary ER Dammu Ravi, in the presence of DG International Solar Alliance," tweeted the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

The basic framework of India-Bhutan bilateral relations was the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1949 between the two countries. It called for peace between the two nations and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. The Treaty was revised in 2007.

The diplomatic relations were established in 1968 with the establishment of a special office of India in Thimphu. There are a number of institutional and diplomatic mechanisms between India and Bhutan in areas such as security, border management, trade, transit, economic, hydro-power, development cooperation, water resources etc.

Bhutan shares its border with four Indian states - Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim with a length of 699 km and serves as a buffer between India and China.

Bhutan is important to India as a buffer state as it acts as a defence against China by protecting the chicken neck corridor.

Moreover, the Doklam stand-off re-established the strategic significance of Bhutan for India.

The trade between the two countries is governed by the India-Bhutan Trade and Transit Agreement of 1972. India is Bhutan's largest trading partner. India has constructed three Hydroelectric Projects (HEPs) in Bhutan: Chukha HEP, Kurichhu HEP, and Tala HEP, operational and exporting surplus power to India.

Recently, India completed a 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project and both sides are expediting the completion of other ongoing projects including the 1200MW Punatsangchhu-11020MW Punatsangchhu-2.

Notably, Bhutan is the first country to receive the Covishield vaccines under India's Vaccine Maitri Initiative. (ANI)

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