Agencies, Thimpu/New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi who arrived in the Bhutanese capital to a rousing welcome earlier in the day beginning his two-day visit,called on Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and also held talks with the country’s premier, Tshering Tobgay.
The Prime Minister is on his maiden visit to a foreign country, and his selection of the tiny Himalayan nation for his first destination after assuming office is being seen as a signal of neighbours occupying a key place in his foreign policy vision.
‘’The primary focus of both the meetings was the extensive development cooperation between the two countries and measures to enhance the economic ties,’’ an official statement said here this evening.
Mr Modi thanked the Bhutanese leadership for the warm welcome that had been arranged for him. He said this reflected the warmth in our bilateral relations. He applauded the personal efforts made in ensuring the success of his first visit outside India.
He described the bilateral relations as ‘B2B’ relations -’Bharat to Bhutan’ relations.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at India being considered as a privileged partner of Bhutan and underlined that his government would not only nuture these strong bonds would also strengthen them.
He emphasised on the possibilities of greater educational contacts and suggested doubling the scholarships being provided to Bhutanese students in India. India will provide scholarships worth Rs two crores. Mr Modi also told the Bhutanese leaders that India would assist their country setting up a Digital Library which will provide access to Bhutanese youth to two million books and periodicals.
Before Mr Modi met the king, he was accorded a colourful ceremonial welcome at the sprawling courtyard of Tashichhoedzong- the secretariat of the Bhutan government.