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PM Modi reaches Bhutan on two-day visit, accorded with Guard of Honour

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Bhutan on Saturday on a two-day visit during which he is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with the top leadership of the country. Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tsering gave a red-carpet welcome to PM Modi at the Paro International Airport, after which he was accorded with Guard of Honour on his arrival in Thimphu.

PM Modi reaches Bhutan on two-day visit, accorded with Guard of Honour
Image credit: Twitter/@narendramodi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Bhutan on Saturday on a two-day visit during which he is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with the top leadership of the country. Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tsering gave a red-carpet welcome to PM Modi at the Paro International Airport, after which he was accorded with Guard of Honour on his arrival in Thimphu.

In a video tweeted by Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar, throngs of Bhutanese people could be seen standing on the side of the road to greet PM Modi.

This is PM Modi's second visit to Bhutan and the first visit after his re-election in the Lok Sabha polls 2019. The visit has been termed as 'highly important' by PM Modi who will hold talks with the host nation’s leadership on a series of issues, including economic and development cooperation, hydropower cooperation and people-to-people-ties, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

PM Modi took to Twitter to thank his Bhutanese counterpart and said, "Reached Bhutan a short while ago, marking the start of an important visit. I am extremely grateful to @PMBhutan for welcoming me at the airport. His gesture is deeply touching."

On day one of his visit, the PM will have an audience with the Bhutanese King, or the 'Druk Gyalpo', Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck at the Dzong and also hold delegation-level talks with Bhutan PM Tsering. 

PM Modi is expected to sign at least 10 MoUs in fields like education amongst others. Five inaugurations are also expected to take place, including the much-talked about Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant and the ISRO-built earth station in Thimphu.

Calling India-Bhutan relationship an important pillar of the government's 'Neighbourhood First' policy, PM Modi said in a pre-departure statement said, "I am confident that my visit will promote our time-tested and valued friendship with Bhutan and consolidate it further for the prosperous future and progress of the people of both our countries."

PM Modi also said that his visit to Bhutan at the beginning of the current term reflects the high importance that the Government attaches to India's relations with the Himalayan nation.

After Lotay Tsering was sworn-in as Bhutan's PM in November 2018, he had made his first official foreign visit to India, and had discussed his country's five-year development plan with PM Modi.