New Delhi, April 1
The King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck will visit India for three days from Monday, even as Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering said he had said nothing new in his interview to the Belgian paper, La Libre, over Doklam and the Bhutan-China boundary talks.
The Bhutan King will visit within days of an interview by his PM to the Belgian paper which received an extremely adverse reaction from the Indian media. Wangchuk will be accompanied by the Bhutanese Foreign and Commerce Minister Tandi Dorji and senior officials.
During the visit, the King of Bhutan will meet with President Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and senior officials will call on him.
“The visit would provide an opportunity to both the sides to review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and to further advance the close bilateral partnership, including economic and development cooperation,’’ said the MEA.
After the misgivings over the interview to a Belgian paper, Bhutan PM Tshering on Saturday gave a fresh interview to a Bhutanese media house in which he said, “I have said nothing new and there is no change in position.’’
The PM’s statement that there is “nothing new’’ comes after the Indian media alleged that Bhutan had changed its position on Doklam in the talks and that China was being given a new role. They also alleged that this is not in India’s interest.
In that context of China-Bhutan boundary talks, analysts see the sudden announcement of a visit to India by the Bhutan King as a symbolic gesture towards reinforcing mutual trust.
The Bhutanese which interviewed PM Tshering said, “panicked but wrong group think by Indian media outlets misrepresented his interview to a Belgian newspaper and blew it out of proportion.’’
The announcement by the Bhutan PM that Bhutan and China are in advanced stages of the boundary talks should not come as a surprise as Foreign Ministers of both countries had signed a MoU in 2021 that was extensively covered by the Indian media, it argued.eom
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