‘Rare for president, PM to visit Bhutan so soon’

Thimpu : Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s two-day visit to Bhutan just five months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sojourn is “rare” and shows the importance the two countries attach to each other, a Bhutanese daily said Friday.

“It’s not often that a country gets to host a president and the prime minister of the same country in the same year. Rare is it to receive them within months of each other,” Kuensel said in an editorial that appeared on the day Mukherjee arrived in Bhutan and was received by Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

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“It signifies the importance the two nations attach to one other,” it said.

This is the first presidential visit to Thimphu in 26 years.

Modi had chosen Bhutan for his first visit abroad in June after he became the prime minister.

The editorial said Mukherjee was “an old friend of Bhutan”, a leader who has witnessed the changes Bhutan has gone through.

“A highlight of his association with Bhutan is the signing of the historic India-Bhutan Friendship Treaty in New Delhi in 2007 when he was the Indian foreign minister. It heralded a new era of bilateral relationship,” it said.

The editorial went on to say that “India’s generous assistance and commitment has resulted in harnessing 1,416 MW of electricity”.

It added: “Bhutan faces a major concern that it will not achieve the targetted 10,000 MW by 2020.”

“We can be assured that our friend will remain committed and will not back out.”