Thimphu [Bhutan], July 31 (ANI): Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pandey, who is on a visit to Bhutan, called on the fourth King of the country Jigme Singye Wangchuk on Sunday and discussed aspects of mutual interest.
Earlier in the day, General Pandey called on Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and discussed aspects of enhancing the enduring bilateral relationship between the two nations.
The Army Chief also received a Guard of Honour at Bhutan's capital Thimphu.
"General Manoj Pande #COAS called on His Majesty the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and discussed aspects of enhancing the enduring bilateral relationship between the two Nations. #COAS also received an impeccable Guard of Honour at #Thimphu," the Indian Army tweeted.
A day earlier, Pande paid tribute to the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, at the National Memorial Chhorten.
The Army Chief also interacted with Lieutenant General Batoo Tshering, Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the Royal Bhutan Army.
In a tweet, the Indian Army said, "Gen Manoj Pande Chief of Army Staff paid tribute to the third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk at National Memorial Chhorten and interacted with Lt Gen Batoo Tshering, COO, Royal Bhutan Army."
The visit is to enhance the unique and time-tested bilateral relationship, characterised by utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding.
"General Manoj Pande #COAS proceeded on a visit to #Bhutan. The visit will further cement the historical bilateral ties and #DefenceCooperation between #India and #Bhutan," the Indian Army had posted earlier.
"The Army Chief will also engage in extensive discussions with his counterpart in the Royal Bhutan Army to exchange views on taking forward the strong cultural and professional bonds between both the Armies," an official statement read.
According to the statement, the Army Chief will conclude his visit by paying homage at the Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens at Dochula, which were established in honour of the fallen heroes of the Royal Bhutan Army who made the supreme sacrifice in operations against insurgents.
India and Bhutan share a unique and time-tested bilateral relationship, characterised by utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding. Compared to other bilateral ties in India's neighbourhood, the relationship with Bhutan is relatively trouble-free and cordial.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries were formally established in 1968 with the appointment of a resident representative of India in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu. The India House (Embassy of India in Bhutan) was inaugurated on May 14, 1968, and Resident Representatives were exchanged in 1971.
Ambassadorial level relations began with the upgrading of residents to embassies in 1978. The basis for bilateral relations between India and Bhutan is formed by the Indo-Bhutan Treaty of 1949, which provides for, among others, "perpetual peace and friendship, free trade and commerce and equal justice to each other's citizens."
This relationship becomes even more important because four Indian states, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim, and West Bengal - share a 699-kilometre-long boundary with Bhutan. India is important to Bhutan in multiple ways. It is Bhutan's largest trading partner - both as a source and a market for its goods. (ANI)