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Indo-Bhutan relations model for bilateral ties: Bhutan King

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - 21:38

New Delhi: India and Bhutan`s relations are a model for an ideal bilateral partnership, visiting King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck said here Wednesday.

"Despite vast differences in size and population, our relationship stands as a model of partnership and cooperation," the 29-year-old king said in his address at the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial lecture held at the auditorium of the Teen Murti Bhavan.

He said that while the concept of "gross national happiness" was key to the success of Bhutan, equally important was its friendship with India over the years.

The king said that the partnership was due to the friendship between two important personalities - India`s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

"I believe that man`s most important relationships are forged in his early years. Similarly, it was for nations," he said.

He said that through the great widening of the ties over the years, both countries have "heeded each other`s best interests".

The Bhutanese king added that he had been "working very hard to live up to the expectations of my father and my people".

"I try to give my 200 percent to my work," he said to applause from the audience.

On the concept of "Gross National Happiness" introduced by his father as a measure of growth, he said that it meant "development with values".

He was crowned the king of Bhutan in 2006, but his formal coronation was in November 2008. From an absolute monarchy, the small Himalayan kingdom turned into a constitutional monarchy in 2008.

The Bhutanese king is on his first foreign visit since his coronation. He arrived in India Monday and signed 12 deals after discussions with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday.


First Published: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - 21:38

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