Bhutanese PM first to visit India during Manmohan’s second termJune 29th, 2009 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) Bhutanese Prime Minister Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y. Thinley will become the first head of a foreign state to visit India during the second tenure of the Manmohan Singh government when he arrives here on a four-day visit Tuesday.
“India and Bhutan share a special relationship characterised by close consultations, mutual trust and understanding,” the external affairs ministry said here Monday while announcing Thinley’s visit to India.
Thinley, who comes here to felicitate the new government, will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday and discuss an entire array of bilteral issues, including expanding economic and trade ties and development partnership between the two countries.
He will also meet President Pratibha Patil, Congress chief and ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The visit comes against the backdrop of the global financial crisis that has affected the tourist inflow to the idyllic Himalayan state known for measuring its national wealth in terms of gross national happiness.
India has agreed to import 10,000 MW from Bhutan’s hydropower plants over the next few years. Revenue-sharing arrangements for hydro power projects are set to figure in Thinely’s discussions with his Indian interlocutors.
Thinley’s visit comes barely a fortnight after External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna visited the youngest democracy in the region that saw the two sides reaffirm their ties as “a model of good neighbourliness”.
During his day-long visit to Thimphu early this month, Krishna flagged off the first Taro-Bagdogra (Assam) flight of Bhutan’s Druk Air and announced a new series of scholarships for students from the Himalayan kingdom to study in prestigious Indian institutions.
–Ind-Asian News Service
Tags: congress chief, development partnership, druk air, external affairs minister, external affairs ministry, global financial crisis, gross national happiness, himalayan kingdom, himalayan state, hydro power projects, hydropower plants, indian institutions, manmohan singh, president pratibha patil, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, progressive alliance, sonia gandhi, tourist inflow, trade ties