New Delhi [India], July 29 (ANI): Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande on Friday proceeded on a visit to Bhutan 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 posted on their Twitter account.
According to the statement, the Army Chief will pay homage at the National Memorial Chorten at Thimpu, built in the memory of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.
During the visit, the COAS is scheduled to meet Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuckand and Jigme Singye Wangchuck. "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.
As a landlocked country, most of Bhutan's third-country exports also transit through Indian ports. Similarly, Bhutan is also important to India. Bhutan was one of the first nations to recognize the independence of India in 1947.
India considers Nepal and Bhutan as important frontiers in its Himalayan foreign policy of mutual trust and cooperation. (ANI)