Home »  News »  India

When a country provides teachers to educate its society, it strengthens democracy, Narendra Modi at Bhutan

Monday, 16 June 2014 - 8:45am IST | Agency: DNA Webdesk
  • Mea

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday India is committed to good neighbourly relations and assured Bhutan that a change in government will not alter the dynamics of Indo-Bhutan ties.

The prime minister was addressing the joint session of Bhutan's Parliament in Thimphu on Monday, the second day of his two-day visit to the Himalayan nation. This is Modi's first overseas visit after becoming prime minister. Modi began his speech by describing himself fortunate to be able to address the Parliament, and heaped praise on Bhutan for firming up democratic traditions in the country. "Its an honour to address the joint session of Bhutanese parliament," he said in his speech in Hindi. Read more

Education strengthens democracy, says Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a joint session of Bhutan Parliament on Monday, stressed upon the importance of education and how India can help the neighboring country in taking it forward. "When a country provides teachers to educate its society, it strengthens democracy," said Modi.

Appreciating Bhutan's initiative towards education he said, "India plans to open an E-library network in Bhutan. This technological support of India to Bhutan will help in making its new generation advanced and compete with the rest of the world." Read more 

India exempts Bhutan from any ban or quantitative restrictions on export of items like milk powder, meat, edible oil and non-Basmati rice. Read more

* India and Bhutan agree not to allow each other's territory to be used for interests inimical to the other

* Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the 600MW Kholongchu Hydro- electric project, a joint venture between India and Bhutan. The project's foundation stone was laid by Modi electronically from the courtyard of Bhutan's Parliament building after addressing a joint session. Read more 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is accompanying Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bhutan on his maiden foreign visit, told reporters here that the Indian side was "extremely satisfied" with the "extremely successful" visit. Read more

ALSO READ: Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of Kholongchu hydro-power project in Bhutan

* Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Bhutan on Sunday morning on his first foreign visit

Also read: PM Narendra Modi vows to nurture 'B2B' ties on first foreign tour to Bhutan

On his arrival at Bhutan's Paro airport, he was received by Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and was given a ceremonial guard of honour.

Thousands of schoolchildren lined the route from Paro Airport to Thimphu, armed with Indian and Bhutanese flags, to greet Modi soon after his arrival.

Ahead of his visit, the prime minister said Bhutan was a "natural choice" as his first foreign destination because of the "unique and special relationship". 

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," the prime minister said.

Modi is accompanied by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh. He will meet Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck​ and Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay during his two-day visit which will see the two sides exploring ways to boost their ties, particularly in trade and hydro-electricity. 

He will also address the joint session of the Parliament of Bhutan. He will also inaugurate one of India's assistance projects – the building of the Supreme Court of Bhutan.

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.
Ahead of his visit, Modi said Bhutan was a "natural choice" as his first foreign destination because of the "unique and special relationship".

"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 before undertaking the trip at the invitation of Bhutan's King and the Prime Minister.

"Our relations with Bhutan are unique and especially warm. Our historical and cultural linkages make us natural friends and partners," Foreign Secretary Singh told a press conference in Delhi.

"Bhutan is one of our most important strategic partners... It is a very good country to show our policy of good neighbourliness in South Asia and special token of our friendship," she said explaining why Bhutan was chosen as the first foreign destination of Modi.

Also Read: 
* Narendra Modi's Bhutan visit is history in the making: Kinley Dorji, Bhutan I&C secretary
* Bhutan, India's no-problem neighbour

With inputs from agencies.


Jump to comments