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India's progress will impact development of neighbours: Modi in Bhutan

June 16, 2014 11:35 IST

India's progress will impact development of neighbours: Modi in Bhutan

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India is committed to good neighbourly relations and assured Bhutan that a change in the government will not alter the dynamics of Indo-Bhutan ties.

"India is committed to good relations with its neighbours," Modi said in his address to joint session of Bhutan's Parliament in Timphu.

On the second day of his two-day visit to the Himalayan country, Modi said if India progresses, it will directly impact the development of its neighbours.

"Stability and development in India will help neighbours like Bhutan," he said in his speech in Hindi.

He also lauded Bhutan for the smooth transition from monarchy to democracy in a span of seven years, which showed maturity in governance in that country.

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Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Parliament in Thimpu, Bhutan
Photographs: ANI/Twitter

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'Terrorism divides and tourism unites'

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Sixty-three-year-old Modi arrived in Thimpu on Sunday on his first foreign trip after assuming office last month.

Recalling India's historic ties with Bhutan, Modi said his government would work towards further strengthening the relations between the two neighbours.

Noting that terrorism divides and tourism unites, he said Bhutan has immense potential in the tourism sector.

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Image: Modi delivers a speech in the Bhutan Parliament on Monday
Photographs: ANI/Twitter

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'Himalayas are India and Bhutan's common heritage'

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Modi said development of tourism does not require large investment but can yield substantial profit and even the poor can benefit from it.

Describing the Himalayas as a shared legacy of the two countries, he stressed on the need to develop the region and said India is planning to open a university for Himalayan studies.

"India and Bhutan share a cultural heritage. We are one because we have kept our hearts open to each other. Our power draws from unity," Modi said addressing the Parliament.

"The Himalayas are India and Bhutan's common heritage. Can't all the Himalayan states of India and Bhutan do a shared sports tournament together," he asked.

He also thanked Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay for attending his swearing in ceremony in Delhi last month.

Modi had on Sunday vowed to nurture bilateral relations, which he described as "B4B – Bharat for Bhutan and Bhutan for Bharat" as he held wide-ranging talks with Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Tobgay.

He had also inaugurated the Supreme Court complex built by India as part of the developmental cooperation.

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Image: Modi inspects the guard of honour in Thimpu on Sunday
Photographs: MEA/Facebook

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'India, Bhutan are made for each other'

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During his talks, Modi had assured Bhutan's leadership that India is committed to its happiness and progress even though the government in Delhi has changed.

Speaking at a banquet hosted by Bhutanese Prime Minister Tobgay on Sunday night, he had said India and Bhutan are "made for each other" considering the "glorious" traditional linkages between the two countries.

Modi is accompanied by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.


Image: Modi being received by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan at Paro International Airport
Photographs: MEA/Facebook

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