India, Bhutan ink MoUs on rail link, energy during Modi’s visit

Thimphu, (UNI) India and Bhutan on Friday signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in various sectors including a railway link between the two nations on day one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Himalayan kingdom.

The MoUs were witnessed here by Prime Minister Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay who also held discussions on various aspects of the multi-faceted bilateral relations.

The MoUs pertained to the general supply of petroleum, oil, lubricants (POL) and related products from India to Bhutan, cooperation in the field of energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.

Furthermore, MoUs were also signed on cooperation in sports and youth, sharing reference standards, pharmacopeia, vigilance and testing of medicinal products, Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) on space cooperation and arrangement between National Knowledge Network of India (NKN) and Druk Research And Education Network of Bhutan.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi met Tobgay over a working lunch hosted in his honour.

The Prime Minister thanked Tobgay for the exceptional public welcome accorded to him, with people greeting him all along the journey from Paro to Thimphu.

According to the External Affairs Ministry, the two leaders held discussions on various aspects of the multi- faceted bilateral relations and forged an understanding to further enhance cooperation in sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture, youth exchange, environment and forestry, and tourism.

It said, “India and Bhutan enjoy long-standing and exceptional ties characterised by utmost trust, goodwill, and mutual understanding at all levels”.

The Prime Minister also held talks with the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

PM Modi and the King expressed deep satisfaction at the close and unique India-Bhutan friendship.

“The meeting provided an opportunity to review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation. Recalling that Bharat for Bhutan and Bhutan for Bharat was an abiding reality, the two leaders discussed ways to further the transformative partnership” the MEA said.

Both leaders also explored initiatives to expand bilateral collaboration in the fields of energy, development cooperation, youth, education, entrepreneurship and skill development.

It said the two leaders also discussed progress in connectivity and investment proposals including in the context of the Gelephu Mindfulness City project.

“India and Bhutan enjoy unique ties of friendship and cooperation, which are characterised by mutual trust and understanding,” the ministry said in a statement.

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