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Narendra Modi, Ram Nath Kovind meet Bhutan king Jigme Wangchuck, appreciate support in resolving Doka La issue

New Delhi: Several Indian leaders including President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed their deep appreciation for Bhutan's support in resolving the recent stand-off with China at Doka La.

The manner in which both India and Bhutan stood together to address the situation in Doka La "is a clear testimony to our friendship", a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement said.

 Narendra Modi, Ram Nath Kovind meet Bhutan king Jigme Wangchuck, appreciate support in resolving Doka La issue

Ram Nath Kovind met Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck along with the queen and the prince on Wednesday. PTI

Kovind, who met Bhutan king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the queen and the prince at Rashtrapati Bhavan, said the security concerns of India and Bhutan are indivisible and mutual.

The president "conveyed deep appreciation for the King of Bhutan’s personal involvement and guidance and the support provided by Bhutan in addressing the recent situation in the Doka La area", the statement said.

India and China's troops were locked in a 73-day stand-off in Doka La, a tri-junction between Sino-India and Bhutanese border near Sikkim, from 16 June this year after Indian Army personnel stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the disputed area.

The president said India and Bhutan share exemplary bilateral relations.

"Our relations are unique and special. Our bilateral ties are based on utmost trust and understanding. We should do everything to make it a model of bilateral cooperation, which will be noted by others in the neighbourhood," he said.

The president said India was delighted to see the rapid progress made in Bhutan while simultaneously preserving its very special culture as well as protecting the environment.

"India has been happy to share its knowledge, experience, and resources with Bhutan. Our development cooperation has been guided by the priorities set by the government and people of Bhutan," he said.

President Kovind also extended an invitation to Wangchuk to pay a state visit to India in 2018, which also marks the golden jubilee of the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the two neighbours, which was accepted by the visiting dignitary.

"The meetings were held in a very warm and cordial atmosphere, reflecting the spirit of mutual trust and understanding that characterise the exceptionally friendly ties between the two countries," a statement of the Bhutanese embassy said.

Kovind also complimented the king of Bhutan on the successful completion of the first decade of his reign and his vision for a stable, happy and prosperous Bhutan.

Wangchuck also held talks with Minister for Externa Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

Recalling the "unique and historical ties of friendship and understanding" between India and Bhutan, the leaders exchanged views on bilateral cooperation as well as other issues of mutual interest.

"The visit of Their Majesties to India marks an important milestone in the close and friendly relations between the two countries and has contributed significantly towards further strengthening the profound friendship between India and Bhutan," the statement added.

The Bhutan's King also conveyed appreciation for the support India provides for Bhutan's socio-economic development.

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, senior ministers, and officials will also call on the King of Bhutan during his visit to India which concludes on 3 November.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 02, 2017 09:21:13 IST

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