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Narendra Modi to visit Bhutan for first foreign trip

Thursday, 5 June 2014 - 9:29pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make his first trip out of the country to Bhutan, the start of what looks to be a line of foreign visits.

Sources confirm that an official team will be leaving for Thimphu on Friday to do the ground work for the visit as well as work out the relevant logistics. The visit is set to take place after the ongoing Parliament session ends, possibly in mid June.
Modi’s calendar was worked upon and once his schedule was cleared, the trip was planned. 

The PM wanted to start with a place close to home and around the neighbourhood, out of which the options were Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Although it seems Afghanistan also came up in the discussion. Nepal was a strong pick for the first trip, given the BJP’s own equity in that country, being the only Hindu nation in the world. It has also been nearly 13 years since a PM visited Nepal and the last official bilateral visit was in the late 1990s.

Nepal will be hosting this year’s SAARC Summit which would be in November, so Modi, will visit Kathmandu soon enough.

Bhutan and India enjoy a close relationship and the country is one of India's friendliest neighbours. Sources also say that Modi’s visit will also signal strong support to usher democracy into the Himalayan nation.

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