PM Modi to visit Bhutan, strengthen ties amid China’s watch

During his visit, Prime Minister Modi will engage in crucial discussions with Bhutan’s leadership, including an audience with King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and talks with Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

| Updated: 20 March, 2024 12:56 pm IST
PM Modi with Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (King of Bhutan)

NEW DELHI: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to embark on a significant state visit to Bhutan from March 21 to March 22, 2024. This visit holds paramount importance as both nations reaffirm their longstanding and robust bilateral relations, particularly in the face of China’s escalating interest in the region.

During his visit, Prime Minister Modi will engage in crucial discussions with Bhutan’s leadership, including an audience with King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and talks with Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay. The visit aims to introduce fresh initiatives in energy, infrastructure, and cross-border trade, further solidifying the bond between the two nations.

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This diplomatic exchange comes in the wake of Bhutanese Prime Minister Tobgay’s recent visit to India, where both leaders underscored the significance of their friendship for regional stability. India’s commitment to supporting Bhutan’s economic development, including the implementation of its 13th Five-Year Plan, was reiterated during Tobgay’s visit.

As India and Bhutan explore avenues for enhanced cooperation, their strong economic partnership, particularly in the realm of hydropower, remains a cornerstone of their relationship. Additionally, India’s proposed infrastructure projects, such as a motorable road connecting Arunachal Pradesh and Assam through Bhutan, signify the depth of their engagement.

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In the backdrop of ongoing border negotiations between Bhutan and China, Modi’s visit assumes strategic importance. Bhutan’s diplomatic manoeuvres aim to strengthen ties with India while navigating sensitivities with China, underscoring the kingdom’s geopolitical significance in the region.

As Modi’s visit unfolds, all eyes will be on the outcomes and implications for regional dynamics, particularly in light of China’s keen interest in Bhutan. The visit underscores India’s commitment to its “Neighbourhood First Policy” and the enduring friendship between India and Bhutan, rooted in mutual trust and cooperation.

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