India and Bhutan have agreed to celebrate 2018 as the golden jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the two neighbours. Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is on a four-day visit to India.
The Bhutan King met with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday, while he is slated to meet Vice President Naidu today.
The President conveyed his deep appreciation for Wangchuck’s personal involvement and the support provided by Bhutan in addressing the recent situation in the Dokalam area.
India and China’s troops were locked in a 73-day stand-off in Dokalam, a tri-junction between Sino-India and Bhutanese border near Sikkim, from June 16 this year after Indian Army personnel stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the disputed area.
During his meeting, President Kovind also extended an invitation to the Bhutan King to pay a state visit to India during the golden jubilee year, which was accepted by the visiting dignitary.
“The meetings were held in a very warm and cordial atmosphere, reflecting the spirit of mutual trust and understanding that characterise the exceptionally friendly ties between the two countries,” the statement said.
Apart from the president, Wangchuck also held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Recalling the “unique and historical ties of friendship and understanding” between India and Bhutan, the leaders exchanged views on bilateral cooperation as well as other issues of mutual interest.
The two sides expressed satisfaction at the “excellent state of bilateral relations” and reaffirmed their commitment to advance the good ties across diverse sectors of cooperation.
The Bhutan’s King also conveyed appreciation for the support India provides for Bhutan’s socio-economic development, the statement added.
His wife Queen Jetsun Pema and their son Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck are also accompanying the Bhutan King in his state visit to India.
(With inputs from PTI)