PM Narendra Modi`s Bhutan visit - As it happened on Sunday

Embarking on his first foreign visit since taking over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Bhutan on Sunday to cement India`s "unique and special relationship" with this SAARC country and his thrust to make the ties more effective.

Zee Media Bureau/Sushmita Dutta

  • I raise this toast to the happiness & long life of Bhutan PM, prosperity of Bhutan and India-Bhutan Friendship, says PM Modi.
  • I said a while back B for B (Bharat for Bhutan and Bhutan for Bharat), I said it just like that but later I realised that it must be a sign from God that I said this: Modi
  • India stands committed to Bhutan`s happiness and progress, says Modi
  • PM Modi added though government in India has changed, Bhutan remains a priority for New Delhi and it will strengthen further the relations.
  • Humare passport ke rang alag ho sakte hain par humari virasat aur values mein koi farak nhi nazar ayega (The colour of our passports may be different but our thinking is the same): PM Modi
  • PM Modi says guarantee of happiness also has one factor, what kind of a neighbour one has.
  • A friend like India can also be an important measure for Happiness Index. Bharat aur Bhutan are made for each other says PM Narendra Modi
  • Our language may be different but are emotions are same: PM Modi
  • Narendra Modi addresses the banquet hosted by Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay, says I am grateful to Bhutan for this warm welcome.
  • Bhutan PM raises toast for peace, prosperity and progress of India.
  • Invitation to heads of SAARC members was indication of Indian govt`s desire to share fruits of their progress with region: Tobgay
  • This occasion is both joyous and historic, This visit is significant for Bhutan, says Tshering Tobgay
  • Bhutan PM hosts Royal banquet for PM Narendra Modi.
  • Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay will host a dinner for Narendra Modi at the royal banquet hall today evening.
  • Modi will on Monday address the joint session of the Parliament of Bhutan. He will also lay the foundation of a 600 MW hydroelectric power station and inaugurate a Parliament building constructed by India.
  • Speaking on the occasion the Chief Justice of Bhutan Sonam Tobgye said, "The sacred ambience of the Supreme Court building will generate a sense of reverence and remind the Judges of their profound responsibilities within the conscience of the nation."
  • Present at the inauguration were several dignitaries of the Bhutanese government, lawyers, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.
  • PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Supreme Court of Bhutan. The building of Bhutan`s Supreme Court is one of India`s assistance projects.
  • Doubling of scholarships being given to Bhutanese students in India, PM Modi said India would provide scholarship worth Rs 2 crores. He also informed that India would assist Bhutan in setting up a digital library which would provide access to Bhutanese youth of 2 million books and periodicals.
  • Modi emphasized on the possibilities of greater educational contacts and suggested doubling the scholarships being provided to Bhutanese students in India.
  • PM Narendra Modi meets Tobgay in Thimphu, describes Bharat-Bhutan relations as `B2B ties`
  • The King of Bhutan will host a lunch in honour of the prime minister and his delegation before they depart from Thimphu on June 16, as per reports.

    According to sources, PM Modi and King of Bhutan discussed bilateral ties between the two countries.

  • Upon his arrival at the Palace of Bhutan`s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, the Bhutanese people carried out the traditional `Chibdrel procession`. The procession is hosted specially by the Bhutan King for heads of the states who visit his country.
  • PM Narendra Modi meets Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
  • A cutout outside Taj Tashi hotel in Thimpu, where Narendra Modi will stay during his two-day Bhutan visit on Sunday and Monday, read, "Welcome to our close friend, India`s prime minister Narendra Modi."
  • It is a welcoming step, shows Modi ji wants to open a new chapter in strengthening foreign policy, says Sudhanshu Trivedi (BJP) on PM`s Bhutan visit.
  • PM Narendra Modi gets Gaurd of Honour by the Bhutan governmnet in the country`s capital city Thimphu.
  • In a series of tweets Akbaruddin added (above are his tweets):
  • Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson, the Ministry of External Affairs wrote on microblogging website twitter - “Bhutan`s PM Tshering Tobgay welcomes PM Modi on his arrival in Thimpu.”
  • Hundreds of schoolchildren cheered and waved the national flags of India and Bhutan as PM Modi arrived in this small Himalayan nation.
  • Also Read: Modi arrives in Bhutan to a red carpet welcome

    Embarking on his first foreign visit since taking over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Bhutan on Sunday to cement India`s "unique and special relationship" with this SAARC country and his thrust to make the ties more effective.

    A grand welcome was accorded to him by the Bhutanese government which rolled out a red carpet and gave a ceremonial guard of honour to him.

    Modi, accompanied by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, NSA Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, was received at the Paro airport by Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and several of his Cabinet colleagues.

    The Prime Minister drove down from Paro to Thimphu, a distance of about 50 kms, traversing through the picturesque mountainous ranges. Common people, including children, in colourful attire lined up most of the road between Paro and Thimphu, waving Indian and Bhutanese flags.

    Big hoardings carrying Modi`s photographs also could be seen en route.

    The fact that the Prime Minister chose Bhutan as his first foreign destination assumes significance since China has lately intensified efforts to woo it and establish full- fledged diplomatic ties with Thimphu.

    `Modi government will take neighbours along to path of prosperity`

    The new Indian government`s foreign policy focus on its South Asian neighbourhood and to work towards creating a peaceful, stable and economically inter-linked neighbourhood "bodes well" not only for the collective SAARC but also for Bhutan as the Narendra Modi government will "take everybody along to the path of prosperity", says an editorial in a Bhutanese daily.

    The Bhutanese, in an editorial ahead of Modi`s two-day visit to the Himalayan country that began Sunday, said that "Bhutan, as an old friend, would want India to do well and surge ahead in the global scene as experience in the past has shown that the economic rise and prosperity of India has translated into benefits for Bhutan, including other countries in the region."

    "However, for any major country or regional bloc, they can only ever truly rise on the global platform if their neighborhood is stable and happy, so to speak. The new dispensation in New Delhi led by Mr Modi has wisely realized this, and is thus, focusing with renewed energy and depth in its own neighborhood which is loaded with a lot of potential and unexplored opportunities, apart from the well known challenges," says the editorial.

    Modi a friendly person, visit to further strengthen ties: Bhutan PM

    As Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday begins a two-day visit to Bhutan, the Bhutanese leadership has described the Indian leader as "a friendly person and well disposed towards Bhutan" and as one who "gives a sense of purpose and hope".

    Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that even though there are no specific issues to discuss during the meeting with Modi from Bhutan`s side, all commitments made and the generous support that the government receives from India will be discussed, according to The Bhutanese daily.

    Tobgay described the Indian prime minister as: "He is a friendly person and obviously very knowledgeable and well disposed towards Bhutan. He holds our kings in very high esteem. He is very aware of the details of the India-Bhutan relationship and overall gives a sense of purpose and hope."

    Tobgay, in response to a question on hydropower, said that both the prime ministers would discuss the situation "which is good as of now".

    Bhutan is a natural choice for my first foreign visit: PM Modi

    On the eve of his visit, Modi on Saturday said that Bhutan was a "natural choice" as his first foreign destination because of the "unique and special relationship" and his trip would focus on making development cooperation "even more effective". In his pre-departure statement, Modi said relations with Bhutan will be a key foreign policy priority of his government.

    "I am looking forward to my first-ever visit to Bhutan and to nurturing and further strengthening India`s special relations with Bhutan", said Modi who is undertaking a two-day trip at the invitation of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

    "I travel to Bhutan with immense happiness and a strong desire to further strengthen our already strong bond", he said.

    He explained why he chose Bhutan as the country of his first foreign visit, three weeks after assuming charge.

    "Bound by common interests and shared prosperity, India and Bhutan enjoy a unique and special relationship which has been forged by ties of geography, history and culture.

    Therefore, Bhutan as the destination for my first visit abroad as Prime Minister is a natural choice", the Prime Minister said.

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