India and Bhutan bond over hydropower

Bhutan, DashoTshering Tobgay, India, hydropower,Druk Gyalpos,Mangdechhu Project , Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj

India and Bhutan are marking the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations.

The Prime Minister of Bhutan, DashoTshering Tobgay is on a visit to India from 5-7 July 2018, at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. He is accompanied by Lyonpo Namgay Dorji, Minister of Finance and senior officials.

Tobgay met President of India, Ram Nath Kovind and had a bilateral meeting with PM Modi, who also hosted a lunch in honor of the visiting dignitary. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, New and Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh and the National Security Adviser called on PM Tobgay.

During his meet with the Indian PM, the two held discussions on a range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest. Recalling the unique bonds of friendship and historical ties, they expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations.

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PM Modi complimented the people and the Royal Government of Bhutan on its imminent graduation to a middle-income country, and for achieving economic progress while preserving its traditions and values, and combining sustainable development with enhanced happiness quotient of its people.

PM Tobgay thanked the Government of India for its invaluable support and partnership for Bhutan’s socio-economic development. PM Modi conveyed that India deeply values its development partnership with Bhutan. PM Modi reaffirmed that, as a friend and close neighbour, India will continue to partner with Bhutan in pursuit of its development goals, which is based on the priorities of its people.

The two Prime Ministers reviewed the bilateral economic and hydro-power co-operation, including the progress in the implementation of the on-going GoI-assisted-hydro-electric projects in Bhutan. They agreed that the robust partnership in the hydro-power sector was mutually beneficial. They reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen collaboration in the hydropower sector in the spirit of close friendship and co-operation that characterize relations between India and Bhutan.

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Both the leaders expressed happiness that the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries is being commemorated with the full involvement and participation of the two peoples, which reflects the essence of the special bilateral ties. In this context, PM Modi recalled the vision and guidance of the Druk Gyalpos of Bhutan and successive political leadership in India and Bhutan in nurturing and enhancing friendship and cooperative ties. The people and the Government of India look forward to the State visit of the King of Bhutan to India.

PM of Bhutan later even said that Hydropower is not just the cornerstone of the economic cooperation between India and Bhutan; it is the very foundation of our strong bonds of friendship.

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Tobgay, when he met Raj Kumar Singh, MOS (Independent Charge) of Ministry Of Power, discussed bilateral cooperation in the development of hydropower in Bhutan. He quipped that during the meeting, in particular, the two had talked about the soon-to-be-completed 720 MW Mangdechhu Project and the agreement for the 2585 MW Sankosh Project.