Modi visiting 'trusted friend' Bhutan next week

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a two-day state visit to "trusted friend and neighbour" Bhutan from August 17, in a visit that highlights the high priority New Delhi attaches to its relations with Thimphu.

The visit is at the invitation of Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering.

Modi's visit to Bhutan, very early in his second term, is in line with the Indian government continued emphasis on its 'Neighbourhood First Policy'. Modi had made Bhutan the first stop in his overseas visits during his first term as Prime Minister.

During the visit, Modi is expected to receive audiences with the Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, and Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King, and hold talks with Tshering, a Ministry of External Affairs statement said.

India and Bhutan share a special and time-tested partnership, anchored in mutual understanding and respect and reinforced by a shared cultural heritage and strong people to people links.

The visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and provides an opportunity to the two sides to discuss ways to further strengthen and diversify the bilateral partnership, including economic and development co-operation, hydro-power co-operation, people-to-people-ties as well as share views on regional matters and other issues of mutual interest, it said.

--IANS

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