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'We enjoy excellent bilateral ties,' says PM Modi ahead of 2-day Bhutan visit

Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering with PM Modi. (Image source: MEAIndia) Photograph:( Twitter )

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 16, 2019, 10.37 PM (IST)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India-Bhutan partnership forms an important pillar of Indian government's 'Neighbourhood First' policy and expressed confidence that his two-day trip beginning Saturday will promote the time-tested ties between the two countries.

"India-Bhutan partnership today is of a special character and substance and forms an important pillar of Government of India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy. I am confident that my visit will promote our time-tested and valued friendship with Bhutan and consolidate it further for the prosperous future and progress of the people of both our countries," he said in a pre-departure statement.

Modi added that his visit to Bhutan in the beginning of the current term reflects the high importance that the Government attaches to India's relations with the Himalayan nation.

Calling Bhutan a "trusted friend and neighbour", Modi said, "I will be on a State Visit to Bhutan on 17-18 August 2019. India and Bhutan enjoy excellent bilateral ties exemplified by our extensive development partnership, mutually beneficial hydro-power co-operation, and strong trade and economic linkages. These are, reinforced by a shared spiritual heritage and robust people-to-people ties."

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Exuding confidence over his visit to Bhutan, he said, "Both countries jointly celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations last year. I am confident that my visit will promote our time-tested and valued friendship with Bhutan and consolidate it further for the prosperous future and progress of the people of both our countries."

Taking to Twitter, Modi said, "In Bhutan, I look forward to having fruitful discussions with HM the King, HM the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and PM Bhutan on the entire gamut of our bilateral relations. I also look forward to addressing young Bhutanese students at the prestigious Royal University of Bhutan."

Preparations to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi are in full swing in Bhutan. The leader is expected to arrive in Paro on August 17 for a two-day bilateral visit.

India and Bhutan are expected to sign 10 Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) during the official engagement.

On the second day of his visit, the Prime Minister is scheduled to visit the National Memorial Chorten.

He will also be attending a cultural performance at Tashichhodzong - a Buddhist monastery - hosted in honour of the visiting leader.

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Modi added that his visit to Bhutan in the beginning of the current term reflects the high importance that the Government attaches to India's relations with the Himalayan nation.