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Time-tested India-Bhutan ties to get further boost after Modi-Tobgay talks

7/6/2018

New Delhi, The "time-tested and everlasting" relationship between India and Bhutan will be given further push on Friday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets his counterpart Tshering Tobgay for high-level talks. The two countries are expected to further boost defence, security and strategic cooperation in view of recent developments on the region and also globally. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Mr Togbay here on Thursday evening and discussed issues of bilateral cooperation and regional and global importance. 'Exceptional, time-tested and everlasting relationship! EAM @SushmaSwaraj called on Prime Minister of #Bhutan @tsheringtobgay. Warm discussions on taking the relationship to new heights during the Golden Jubilee Year of establishment of diplomatic relations,' MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted. This year both countries are commemorating the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations.The visit of Prime Minister Tobgay, during the Golden Jubilee year, will provide an opportunity to both the sides to hold discussions on issues of mutual interest, and advancing the exemplary ties of friendship for the benefit of the two peoples, an MEA statement said here. The Bhutanese Prime Minister had visited Assam earlier this year for a special function in Guwahati to participate in an investors' summit. Both the Prime Ministers had met on the function's sidelines in Guwahati as well. During last few months, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale have travelled to Bhutan. Official sources did not confirm but both Prime Minister Modi and his counterpart are also likely to discuss on Doklam tri-junction, the site of over 70 days standoff between Indian and Chinese armies in 2017. "Doklam is a closed chapter.....Things are normal now and even in the past, Bhutan has backed Indian position on Doklam," a source said. Lately, there have been efforts for enhanced and better ties between China and India also especially after PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held an informal summit in April. A military delegation visited Sukna in West Bengal on Monday to meet their counterparts while India along with China and Russia are trying for a maritime dialogue at the earliest, sources said. For its part, China and Bhutan are also engaged in talks on Doklam. During his stay in Delhi, Bhutanese Prime Minister will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day on Friday. He will also meet Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy R K Singh and Union Minister of Finance, Coal, Railways and Corporate Affairs Piyush Goyal.

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