According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the visit will give both India and Bhutan a chance to evaluate their whole range of bilateral cooperation and advance their “exemplary” relationship.
The journey takes place a few weeks after China and Bhutan inked a cooperation agreement on the boundary between their countries during the 25th round of boundary talks in Beijing.
Amidst rumours that China and Bhutan are slowly approaching a settlement on their controversial border, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan will pay an official visit to India from November 3–10.
Senior Bhutanese government officials will accompany Wangchuck on the tour, the ministry of external affairs said in a statement on Thursday. During the visit, the king will meet with prominent Indian officials, including S Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(Image Source : The Hindu)
To strengthen relations with Bhutan, the Assam government resolved on Wednesday, November 1, to reserve five seats for people from that country in the state’s medical colleges.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited Major General Vetsop Namgyel, the Bhutanese ambassador to India, earlier on Wednesday. He stated that Assam is looking forward to meeting the King of Bhutan.
According to the statement, India and Bhutan have special bonds of friendship and cooperation that are marked by mutual trust and understanding. Both parties would have the chance to examine the range of their mutual collaboration and develop their excellent bilateral partnership in a number of different fields during the visit.
The journey takes place a few weeks after China and Bhutan inked a cooperation agreement on the “Responsibilities and Functions of the Joint Technical Team (JTT) on the Delimitation and Demarcation of the Bhutan-China Boundary” during their 25th round of boundary discussions in Beijing.
The most recent round of border negotiations between the two nations took place in 2016, and the new deal expands on the three-step plan for settling the boundary dispute that was decided upon in 2021. Experts feel that the August meeting of the first technical talks on boundary delimitation was a sign that Bhutan and China had reached a consensus on a potential alignment for their disputed border.
After the border meetings with Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong, Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji met with his Chinese colleague Wang Yi in Beijing. During these discussions, a cooperation agreement was formed, and both parties expressed their desire for an early border accord.
New Delhi observers have been taken aback by the rapid pace of movement in the recent discussions between China and Bhutan. According to those with knowledge of the situation, the Bhutanese monarch may use his visit to inform the Indian leadership of Bhutan’s stance on the boundary negotiations with China.
Bhutan has benefited greatly from India’s “Neighborhood First” policy and was the largest recipient of foreign aid in the 2023–24 budget, receiving ₹2,400 crore of the ₹5,408 crore allotted for aid to foreign nations.