Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with visiting Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on Tuesday (April 4) in New Delhi at his residence. The Bhutanese king is currently on a two-day visit to India and arrived in New Delhi on April 3.
While sharing pictures with the Bhutanese King, PM Modi tweeted: “Pleased to receive His Majesty the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. We had a warm and productive meeting. Deeply value our close friendship and the vision of successive Druk Gyalpos in guiding India-Bhutan relations to new heights.”
The crucial talks were held against the backdrop of renewed focus on the Doklam tri-junction- the site of clashes between Indian and Chinese forces- as the leaders focused on a five-point broad roadmap to expand the ties.
Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said India and Bhutan closely coordinate on shared national and security interests. He also noted that the security concerns of both sides are intertwined and indivisible. He was briefing about PM Modi’s meeting with visiting Bhutanese king.
Kwatra said, “India will work to extend an additional standby credit facility. We will work to shape long-term sustainable arrangements for export of agricultural commodities from Bhutan. Also, work to develop long-term bilateral arrangements for assured supply of critical commodities like petroleum and coal.”
Pleased to receive His Majesty the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. We had a warm and productive meeting. Deeply value our close friendship and the vision of successive Druk Gyalpos in guiding India-Bhutan relations to new heights. pic.twitter.com/DD33W2LvjO
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 4, 2023
Recently, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said that China has an equal say in resolving the border dispute relating to the strategically-located Doklam tri-junction.
Asked about the mention of the Doklam issue during the talks, Kwatra said that the ties between India and Bhutan are based on mutual respect, trust, close understanding and sensitivity to each other’s concerns. He added that PM Modi and the king covered the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation including issues of “respective national interests”.
Kwatra said, “Now besides this exemplary and unique relationship that India and Bhutan have, we also have a time-tested framework of security cooperation.”
He added, “And as part of that, both countries maintain a longstanding tradition of very close consultations on matters relating to their mutual interest and, of course, security also. Now in this context, the intertwined and indivisible nature of our security concerns is self-evident.”
“As regards the recent statements and the related commentary to them is concerned, I would say that one — India and Bhutan remain in close touch relating to our shared interests including our security interests,” he said, and further added that India very closely follows all developments having a bearing on its national interest and it takes all necessary measures to safeguard them as necessary.
“I would only reiterate our earlier statements on this issue which very explicitly and very clearly bring out our position on the determination of the tri-junction boundary points,” he added.
(With inputs from agencies)
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