- Sputnik India, 1920
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Narendra Modi Arrives in Bhutan for His Last Foreign Visit Before Lok Sabha Elections

© Photo : X/ Narendra ModiModi in Bhutan
Modi in Bhutan - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.03.2024
The MEA has said that Prime Minister Modi's state visit to Bhutan is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges amid New Delhi's "emphasis" on its "Neighbourhood First Policy."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday arrived in Bhutan for a two-day state state visit, which is his last scheduled foreign trip before the nationwide elections.

A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday that Modi was received by Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay at Paro airport and accorded ceremonial welcome.

It noted that the Indian leader will also inaugurate the Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Mother and Child Hospital in Thimphu, which has been built with assistance from New Delhi.

A previous statement from New Delhi underlined that Modi's visit would provide an opportunity for both sides to "exchange views on bilateral and regional matters of interest and deliberate on ways to expand and intensify our exemplary partnership for the benefit of our peoples".

Modi was originally scheduled to arrive in Bhutan on Thursday but the visit had to be postponed due to “inclement" weather conditions over Paro Airport, according to an Indian statement on Wednesday evening.
Significantly, Bhutan was Modi's first foreign destination after he first assumed power as PM in 2014. The Indian Prime Minister has visited the landlocked Himalayan nation three times in the last 10 years.
Modi's visit comes almost a week after the Bhutanese Prime Minister visited New Delhi, where he held talks with the Indian PM.

India, Bhutan Sign Pacts to Boost Energy Exports, Rail Connectivity

Later in the day, Prime Minister Modi and Bhutanese PM Tobgay held wide-ranging consultations in Thimpu, following which they exchanged seven memorandums of understand (MoU) in areas of energy, rail connectivity, agriculture, youth exchange, environment and forestry, and tourism.

An MEA statement said that the MoU on petroleum and related products would allow Indian exports to Bhutan from designated entry and exit points.

"Both the leaders also agreed on and initialled the text of the MoU on establishment of rail links between India and Bhutan. The MoU provides for establishment of two proposed rail links between India and Bhutan, including the Kokrajhar-Gelephu rail link and Banarhat-Samtse rail link and their implementation modalities," the MEA statement underlined.

Indian PM Narendra Modi welcomes the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk in New Delhi. - Sputnik India, 1920, 07.11.2023
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