AsiaBhutanIndiaSAARCSouthern Asia

Jaishankar lands in Thimphu on SAARC mission

Thimphu, March 1 Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar landed in Bhutan’s capital Sunday on the first leg of his visit to four SAARC countries.

Jaishankar will call on Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

Jaishankar, who took charge on January 28, travels to Bangladesh on Monday, to Pakistan on Tuesday and to Afghanistan the following day.

The visit to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) neighbours is part of India’s emphasis on neighbourhood outreach.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made Bhutan the destination of his first foreign tour after taking over in May last year. Modi laid the foundation of the 600-MW Kholongchu hydropower project.

President Pranab Mukherjee visited Bhutan last November during which he said that India attached the highest importance to its relations with Thimpu. He called Bhutan “a close friend and neighbour”.

Mukherjee’s visit was the first bilateral trip by an Indian president to Bhutan in 26 years.

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