Displaying the special and “unique” status of Bhutan in India’s foreign policy, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday embark on a two-day visit to Bhutan, his first trip abroad since he took over three weeks back.
Modi will be accompanied by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.
He will meet with King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay during his two-day visit which will see the two sides exploring ways to boost their ties, particularly in trade and hydro-electricity.
Modi will also address the joint session of the National Assembly and National Council and meet the leader of the opposition Dr Pema Gyamtsho.
The fact that the new Indian prime minister chose Bhutan as his first foreign destination assumes significance since China has lately intensified efforts to win it over and establish full- fledged diplomatic ties with Thimphu.
“Our relations with Bhutan are unique and especially warm. Our historical and cultural linkages make us natural friends and partners,” the foreign secretary told a press conference in Delhi.